Retiring ruckman Dean Cox is daring to dream of going out with a bang in this year’s AFL finals series.
West Coast ruckman Dean Cox says he has no regrets about his decision to retire, but hopes his AFL farewell party will kick on into September.
Cox will play his final home game on Saturday night when he lines up against the struggling Demons at Patersons Stadium.
Although the match will be Cox’s last AFL appearance in Perth, he doesn’t want it to be his final hurrah.
West Coast thought their finals hopes were shot after suffering a heartbreaking three-point loss to Essendon last Saturday.
But Brisbane’s shock win over Collingwood and Richmond’s triumph over Adelaide have kept the Eagles in the hunt for eighth spot.
West Coast must win their remaining two games against Melbourne and Gold Coast (away), plus rely on other results to fall their way, in order to sneak into the finals.
Cox said the possibility of playing finals had taken his mind off this week’s farewell home game.
And despite the end of his career fast approaching, the 289-game veteran said he had no regrets about his decision to hang up his boots at season’s end.
“I’m really comfortable with it,” Cox said on Tuesday.
“It’s made me really enjoy this last month; hopefully with a couple more weeks to go.
“It’s been a really good time, and an opportunity to take a backward step and fast track a lot of these young kids.”
West Coast’s future ruck stocks appear bright after South Australian Scott Lycett penned a new four-year deal with the Eagles on Monday, joining Nic Naitanui in signing a long-term contract.
Fellow youngsters Andrew Gaff, Jack Darling and Jeremy McGovern have also re-signed with the Eagles this year, filling Cox with confidence that future success isn’t far away.
Star forward Mark LeCras is set to return against the Demons after recovering from a calf injury, but defender Sam Butler is only a 50-50 chance to play after undergoing minor surgery to fix a laceration in his right eye.
Midfielders Scott Selwood (ankle) and Elliot Yeo (hand) are pushing hard in their rehab programs and could return for the finals if West Coast qualify.
Cox will have plenty of family and friends in the crowd to mark his final home appearance on Saturday.
But not all of them will be wide-eyed and amped for the occasion, which kicks off at 5.40pm local time.
“Charlotte will only come for a little bit. The game time could have been a little bit more favourable for a 20-month-old,” Cox said with a laugh in reference to his daughter.
Cox is yet to sign a deal with the Eagles to become their full-time ruck coach next season, with the 33-year-old not ruling out a coaching move to a rival club.