Stoppage coach Dean Cox thrilled to see former teammate Eric Mackenzie back for West Coast Eagles


Dean Cox shared the field with Eric Mackenzie many times as a player, now, as a coach, he’s happy to see his return from injury. Picture: Getty Images
Eagles defender Eric Mackenzie last faced Gold Coast in 2014.
Dean Cox shared the field with Eric Mackenzie many times as a player, now, as a coach, he’s happy to see his return from injury. Picture: Getty Images Eagles defender Eric Mackenzie last faced Gold Coast in 2014.

The 2014 club champion was cruelled by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in last year’s pre-season competition and missed the 2015 season.

Mackenzie will line up for his first competitive hit-out in more than a year tomorrow afternoon.

Eagles coaching panellist Dean Cox heralded his former teammate’s recovery.

“He’s been fantastic; for him it was not about playing (the first pre-season clash), it was about building into the campaign, hence why he’s in this week,” he said.

“You can’t question anything he’s been doing… but we still understand he’s missed a year of footy and he’ll build as quickly as he possibly can.

“We’re looking forward to seeing him out there and the players are as well.”

Cox predicted the 27-year-old to play “a lot of minutes” but said he would be closely monitored throughout the match.

The premiership ruckman did not expect any experimentation with the Eagles game plan, saying it would be about preparing the side for the approach they would take in round one.

“That’s adjusting a few things that we’ve worked on over the pre-season, but it’s just about getting some chemistry built with each other again,” he said. “A lot of the players are playing their first game so it’s a good opportunity to get them up and about, hopefully quicker than normal.”

Squads for AFL pre-season clash at Arena Joondalup, 4.10pm, Thursday:

West Coast

1. Mitch Brown, 2. Mark LeCras, 3. Andrew Gaff, 5. Brad Sheppard, 6. Elliot Yeo, 9. Nic Naitanui, 11. Matt Priddis, 14. Liam Duggan, 15. Jamie Cripps, 16. Eric Mackenzie, 17. Josh J. Kennedy, 18. Xavier Ellis, 20. Jeremy McGovern, 22. Jonathan Giles, 23. Lewis Jetta, 24. Luke Partington, 25. Shannon Hurn, 26. Sam Butler, 27. Jack Darling, 28. Tom Cole, 29. Scott Lycett, 30. Jackson Nelson, 31. Will Schofield, 33. Josh Hill 35. Patrick McGinnity, 36. Fraser McInnes, 37. Tom Barrass, 39. Malcolm Karpany, 44. Jamie Bennell

Gold Coast

4. Jack Martin, 5. Jarrod Harbrow, 6. Alex Sexton, 8. Luke Russell, 11. Touk Miller, 12. Sam Day, 13. Callum Ah Chee, 14. Mitch Hallahan, 15. Dan Currie, 18. Trent McKenzie, 20. Henry Schade, 21. Jack Leslie, 23. Sean Lemmens, 26. Matt Shaw, 27. Clay Cameron, 29. Brayden Fiorini, 30. Peter Wright, 31. Keegan Brooksby, 32. Brandon Matera, 33. Aaron Hall, 34. Mackenzie Willis, 36. Josh Schoenfeld, 37. Jesse Lonergan, 39. Ryan Davis, 40. Tom Keough, 41. Jarrod Garlett, 42. Adam Saad, 44. Darcy Macpherson, 48. Seb Tape

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