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Emerging Docker keen to drop anchor with star recruits

Dockers forward Brennan Cox - AFL,Fremantle Dockers,Brennan Cox
Dockers forward Brennan Cox

EMERGING Fremantle youngster Brennan Cox believes he can fit into the same attack as Jesse Hogan and Rory Lobb next season. 

Competition among the Dockers' tall forwards is set to heat up over summer, with Matt Taberner fighting to keep hold of a spot and Cam McCarthy facing a career-defining year.  

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Many expected Cox would be repositioned to defence – where he was an All Australian at under-18s level – following Freo's successful NAB AFL Trade Period. 

But the 20-year-old still sees his future in attack after booting 18 goals in 16 games last season.   

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"(Moving to the backline) has gone through my mind, but I think I'll stay forward," Cox told AFL.com.au. 

"When I first came in I probably did feel more comfortable down back, but now I've gone up forward and started to learn how to play forward I've become more comfortable.  

"Down back you've got Alex Pearce, Joel Hamling, Griffin Logue coming back (from injury), Shane Kersten now going down back, so I'm more than happy to stay up forward. 

"I'm absolutely stoked that Rory and Jesse are coming and I can learn off them a bit. 

"Obviously, they've had a few years under their belt, and Jesse is an absolute star forward, and so is Rory.  

"Competition for spots makes a healthy environment, so it will be a good pre-season."

Hogan's arrival after 152 goals in 71 games for Melbourne and Lobb's (64 goals in 74 games) return to WA from the Giants should boost Freo's firepower after Ross Lyon's outfit ranked bottom three for points scored for a third-straight season.

"It should be a dangerous forward line if we get Jesse and Rory firing, as well as Matty and Cam McCarthy, if he plays that smaller role," Cox said.

"Cam was playing out of his size, he was playing on taller defenders, but now he should get the smaller one and his ability to run up and down the field and run his man to death really is his (strength)."

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After managing 10 games in his debut campaign, Cox started last season in the WAFL but became a focal point in Freo's attack after Taberner went down with a broken foot in round five.  

The strong-marking South Australian was thrown in the deep end and regularly faced the opposition's No.1 key defender, but the experience was invaluable and his breakthrough performance came in round 12 against Adelaide.

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Cox dragged down seven marks – including four inside 50 - and found his composure in front of goals by booting four-straight majors, earning him the NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in a gritty three-point win.

"It did put me in good stead through the rest of the season," Cox said. 

"A lot of weeks we went in a bit undersized and I think I was the tallest at 194cm, or whatever I am, not really that big and I was getting a big tall defender.

"Obviously with Rory, Matt and Jesse I should be getting a smaller defender, if that's (four talls) what the coaches want to do."