Mason Cox has called on the AFL to change its rules around who gets a premiership medal after a grand final. The American snared his first premiership medal after kicking a key goal in Collingwood's four-point win over Brisbane on Saturday the MCG.
Amid the celebrations, there were heartbreaking scenes for Taylor Adams and John Noble, who played a huge part in the overall success but missed out of the grand final. Adams injured his hamstring in the first week of the finals, while Noble was overlooked for selection.
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Both players were seen in tears as they were consoled by teammates after full-time. To make matters worse, Adams and Noble don't get a premiership medal despite both playing 23 games throughout the regular season.
It's the same story for Daniel McStay, who was injured in the preliminary final. Under traditional AFL rules, it's only the 22 players from each team in the grand final who are awarded a medal.
“They were a big reason why we were there, without Dan McStay kicking two goals in the prelim we probably don’t make it (to the grand final),” Cox told The Herald Sun. “It is frustrating to not see them have a medal around their neck to be honest.
"I would change it in a heartbeat. Without them we are not in this situation. To have that happen (to McStay) in a prelim is f***ing shattering.
“Guys like John Noble and Tay Adams, it is something you wouldn’t wish on the worst person. I don’t know what the ruling would be but it just seems wrong to not have them with a medal.”
AFL world divided over premiership medals
Early last week, Collingwood coach Craig McRae revealed it was actually Adams' decision not to play in the grand final because he knew he wasn't 100 per cent. “Obviously Tay, he had some awareness in his hamstring at training yesterday,” McRae said on SEN radio.
“Is it sacrificial? Whatever the language you want to use. He just doesn't feel he is quite right to put himself out there. He hasn't re-strained it, but he just has great body awareness. He just thinks he's not quite right and these things come along this time of year, don't they? That unfortunately for him is the same (as Dan McStay), we’ll put our love and support around those guys and among others.”
Discussing the situation with the medals last week, former Richmond captain Trent Cotchin also called for change. "It takes a village to win one and everyone should be recognised for the contribution," the three-time flag winner said on Channel 7.
"I think it’s not to put on show. It’s to know that you contributed to that premiership.”
However fans were divided on the issue on social media, with some pointing out that there would be instances where someone who didn't play in the grand final probably wouldn't be worthy of a medal. Some suggested a different colour or type of medal could be given to squad members who didn't play in the big dance but contributed to the overall effort throughout the year.
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