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Thursday, November 15 2018 @ 11:10 am ACDT

Cox's Emergence May Spur Rethink On U.S. Combine

North America

Niall Seewang from ESPN reports on the impact that Collingwood’s Mason Cox and other USA products are having on decisions regarding future U.S Combines. The following is an extract from the original article. To read the full article, go to the link at the end of this extract. 

Mason Cox's emergence as a legitimate attacking weapon could spur the reintroduction of the AFL's U.S. Combine. 

The AFL had travelled to U.S. every year since 2012 to hold trials for American athletes -- often college basketballers, footballers and soccer players who miss out on professional contracts in their chosen sports -- but held no such event in 2018. 

However, it could be brought back in 2019, with the AFL set to make a decision on its future before the end of the year.

 Cox became the poster boy for the 'American experiment' after one of the individual performances of the season during Collingwood's crushing preliminary final win against Richmond at the MCG. In just his 43rd game, he took 11 grabs (eight contested) and slotted three goals from 15 possessions as the Magpies stormed into the Grand Final. The 27-year-old was subdued in the first half of the following week's decider against West Coast but lifted significantly in the second as Collingwood fell agonisingly short against the Eagles. 

Last season, the Magpie -- was signed by Collingwood as an international rookie after wowing talent scouts at the 2014 U.S. Combine in Los Angeles -- ranked second across the league for contested marks, highlighting his aerial dominance. 

Cox was left shaking his head when asked about the AFL's decision to put the U.S. Combine on hold after his preliminary final heroics. 

"I'm not too happy about it but it's not my decision to make," he said. "All I can do is play well and show them there's a good avenue. It's an interesting one, I don't quite understand it but there's a lot more that goes on at the AFL than I can get my head wrapped around."

His September emergence had many questioning why the AFL had seemingly scrapped its search for American athletes, but the league's national talent manager Kevin Sheehan said it could be back on next year. Sheehan pointed to the fact no American athlete had been signed the previous two years as the primary reason it was scratched. 

To continue reading Niall Seewang’s ESPN story, go to: http://www.espn.com.au/afl/story/_/id/25113166/afl-us-american-combine-return-thanks-mason-cox

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