Brennan Cox has inked a two-year contract with Fremantle, signing on until at least the end of the 2022 season.
The 22-year-old was drafted at pick no.41 in the 2017 NAB National Draft and was a crucial part of Fremantle’s backline in 2020 after they were hit with injuries to talls Alex Pearce, Joel Hamling and Griffin Logue.
Alongside fellow 2017 draftee Luke Ryan, Cox helped spearhead a backline that was one of the strongest in the AFL.
Cox said he couldn’t wait to work on continuing his growth at Fremantle.
“I’m really keen to be a part of this club. I think we’re building something very special and I can’t wait to just keep improving with all of the young fellas alongside our more experienced players,” Cox said.
“I’ve built a lot of connections here and I’m keen to keep growing. Over these next couple of years, I think we can really improve and, hopefully, push for finals.”
The versatile tall started his career at Fremantle as a forward before settling in as a backman in 2020.
The 194cm key position player said he felt most comfortable as a defender.
“The position change has been good. I think with the support of teammates and everyone around me, it’s really helped me,” Cox said.
“I haven’t played too many games down back but picking the brains of Alex Pearce, Joel Hamling, Griffin Logue and Luke Ryan, it’s really helped me and held me in good stead. I think playing down back is probably my more natural position.
“With (senior coach) Justin Longmuir coming from Collingwood and being the backline coach there, he’s got his mind wrapped around the defensive part of the game. He’s been brilliant for me.”
Fremantle head of player personnel David Walls believes Cox’s strength as a defender is his ability to read the play.
“Brennan sees the game so well that he can really read it so early that he’s one step ahead a lot of the time,” Walls said.
“He’s come a long way. We drafted him as a back, he was an Under 18s All Australian centre half back for South Australia but through necessity he was played a lot forward in his early days at Fremantle.
“I think opportunities opened through injury and he grabbed them with both hands. He improved throughout the year and that was enormous.
“He’s recently got some continuity in his body where he was preparing really well and his body was then able to hold up and play a lot of footy.
“That continuity allowed him to grow and produce a season that he did. He was one of our most improved players this season and had an outstanding year.”