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West Coast Eagles

Cox draws level

Dean Cox reaches Glen Jakovich's games record this Saturday, can he make it to 300 nex year?
West Coast Eagles great Dean Cox says he’s more focused on setting up the season than any records he’s breaking in 2014.

Cox equals Glen Jakovich’s long-standing games record at the club, playing his 276th AFL game this Saturday night against the Saints.

When asked by 6PR Breakfast host Basil Zempilas if he had any disappointment in breaking the record the following week, away from Patersons Stadium and his adoring home fans, Cox said he was more focused on winning both games.

Cox came to the club in 2001, after being selected with the 28th pick in the 2001 Rookie Draft, and once training started he was immediately on the back foot.

“When I first got to the football club, it was probably well documented I was a bit behind the eight-ball,” he said.

“I had a lot of work to get up to speed with, first of all being on an AFL list, let alone playing an AFL game.

“Fortunately enough got that opportunity and then along the way have represented this great club so many times.

“But also along the way had some success, and met some great people which is the most important thing.”

“The season, and trying to set it up, and play good footy is more important than anything at the minute, so if I get through this week it’ll be Geelong next week,” Cox said on 6PR.

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Cox, who played four season with Jakovich, says he’s honoured to level with one of the greats of the club.

“The good thing with ‘Jako’ is I’ve stayed in contact with him regularly, since he’s finished,” Cox said.

“I got to play in his last game, he’s one of the greats, he’s won four best and fairest (awards) at our footy club.

“He should be put up in the top couple of players in our clubs history.”

Jakovich, who has held the games record at the Eagles for nearly a decade, says he’s rapt to ‘pass the baton’ over to the 203cm giant.

“I must admit, I’ve been very proud to have that record over the last 10 years when I surpassed Guy McKenna,” Jakovich said.

“Watching Dean over the last three or four years, I look at the difference between me beating the record and him beating my record.

“Dean’s playing very, very good football, and he’s got many games ahead of him, and some important campaigns with the current player group.

“It’s fair to say when I passed ‘Bluey’ McKenna’s record, I probably limped there and I was pretty much done and dusted.

“That’s the difference between the two of us; Dean’s playing football as good as he has over the last three or four years, at a consistent level.

“Dean’s defied all odds the way he’s been able to manage his body, it’s very hard for a bloke over six foot four, and Dean’s been six foot seven.

“To be able to look after his body, the way he’s done is a full credit to him, but as well as play good footy along that journey.”

But Cox isn’t finished yet, while he’s out of contract at the end of the season, he will wait until the end of the year to make a call on whether he pushes on to 2015, and approaches the magical 300-game milestone.

“At the minute I would, but that’ll be determined at the end of the season,” he said.

“My decision will be on ‘can I still play good footy next year’.”

Records are made to be broken, and when Cox does retire he’s sure some of the young guns at the club could one day pass his new mark.

“Scott Selwood might give it a crack,” he said.

“Jack Darling, is probably the one, with Andrew Gaff.

“They’ve played a lot of footy early, and their bodies have withstood AFL  at the minute, so I think Jack’s probably the one.”
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs