‘Frustrating’: Magpie Cox ready for fresh start under McRae

Mason Cox has revealed that open and honest conversations were held with Collingwood at the end of the season, but he is happy to have remained at the club.

Cox has signed a one-year extension with the Magpies, and hopes he can find a role in the game plan of new coach Craig McRae.

That was not the case under former coaches Nathan Buckley and Robert Harvey this year, when the American – now in the US on the break – managed only seven matches, booting eight goals.

The forward-ruckman, his manager Liam Pickering and Magpies’ football department boss Graham Wright settled on a decision to allow Cox to explore his options but nothing materialised, and he will be at the Holden Centre in 2022.

“There were conversations at the end of the year with the club, and we were pretty upfront,” Cox, 30, said on SEN on Friday.

“They [Collingwood] said: ‘If you want to look elsewhere, we totally understand given the situation over the last two years’. We came to the agreement that there is a chance we might move on.

Mason Cox says the 2021 season was personally frustrating.Credit:Getty Images

“Fortunately enough, the club did offer me another contract after a few things got moved around. We were able to get the job done.”

Cox said McRae was not involved in the contract negotiation, as the pair did not want emotion to be a factor, and does not yet know what role he could play in the Magpies’ rebuild.

“I haven’t really talked to Craig or the other coaches about the game plan and how it’s going to be played,” Cox said.

“I don’t really know the details to it yet. When I get back to Australia, I know I’ve talked to him [McRae] before and said we’ll have a proper sit down and go through it all.

“Last year was quite frustrating. I wasn’t at my best and was frustrated with a few things away from football. It wasn’t the ideal scenario for me.

“I think being back in the States, being able to get a fresh look at everything and a fresh start, I think it’ll be good for my career going forward.”

Cox, who debuted in 2016, has played 76 matches and kicked 93 goals.

The Magpies have several issues to address through the summer. These include determining whether Scott Pendlebury remains captain, and the type of contract they are willing to offer Jordan De Goey, an impending free agent.

Meanwhile, the Western Bulldogs are confident they can re-sign a long list of talent off contract at the end of 2022. List manager Sam Power has much work to do amid what rival officials have questioned could be a salary-cap squeeze, but the Bulldogs believe the lure of long-term success should help their case.

Those off contract next year include Bailey Dale, Tim English, Caleb Daniel, Alex Keath, Jason Johannisen, Josh Dunkley, Bailey Smith, Jack Macrae and Taylor Duryea.

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