American Mason Cox of the Collingwood Magpies expressed the opinion that the AFL should have kept its Draft Combine focused on America, rather than waste the effort in trying to find talent in Ireland that is of use beyond drinking and fighting.
For years, the game of Aussie Rules has been losing players to the U.S., where the NFL values the running and kicking skills that provide an edge to the kicking game in the form of punters who are experts at killing the footy exactly where needed.
Cox has been something of a success after being discovered by the Draft Combine. As a basketballer, he was definitely not of the sort you would expect to find in the NBA following college, but Cox did have sufficient athletic skill to play in the AFL, where a player has the support of 17 teammates, rather than the four that would be found in the NBA.
He told AFL.com.au that there are plenty of players in the U.S. that more or less fit his profile, with size and athleticism that could be utilised on the ovals of AFL clubs.
“There’s obviously a lot of guys that come out of college and they’re athletically gifted, but they go into the workforce once their college careers are over and that’s just the way they (Americans) think,” the Collingwood big man said.
Despite the league moving away from the States, for now at least, the individual clubs are free to explore the entire world for players and Cox, 27 years of age, indicated that he would be happy to assume a role scouting for potential AFL players.
“I do think there’s a lot of talent there and I don’t know maybe when my career’s finished I can maybe take advantage of it,” he said.
The first American to make it to the senior list of an AFL club was Jason Holmes, who played just five games for the St. Kilda Saints in 2015 and 2016.