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Collingwood looks overseas again to boost playing stocks

Collingwood’s American recruit Mason Cox takes a big grab during the Pies’ preliminary final win against Richmond. Photo: AFL MEDIA

Collingwood looks overseas again to boost playing stocks

Despite falling short in the grand final, 2018 was a stand-out season for Collingwood.

The Magpies will be determined to build upon their recent success, and already post-season, they’ve gone about their business swiftly and decisively.

As well as tying down a number of their players to new deals, they’ve also turned their attention to the international market once again in a bid to get one step ahead of their A-League rivals.

Collingwood has signed two Irish prospects this week, Anton Tohill and Mark Keane joining the club following a period of training.

They have attended the International AFL Academy in the US and returned favourable results throughout their stint in the states.

Tohill signs a two-year deal with the club and will link up with his new employers in November. He is the son of Anthony Tohill, who was one of the first Irish players to venture to Australia in the 1990s with Melbourne.

Keane has been on the radar of a number of AFL clubs and has impressed with his kicking and contested marking.

The Pies are looking to the future once again as they take a long-term approach to their recruitment.

Texan Mason Cox is one of the many international recruits who have excelled for Collingwood over the last twelve months, the 27-year old becoming one of the most-talked about players in the AFL.

His performances have also sparked an interest back home in the US, Cox becoming the first American to feature in the grand final.

Unfortunately, many of those new-found fans were left disappointed as Collingwood was edged out by West Coast.

It was one of the greatest grand finals of recent years with the Eagles trailing by 29 points at the 26-minute mark of the first quarter before mounting a remarkable comeback.

Both sides played their part in a sensational spectacle and are likely to be heavily involved at the pointy end again next year, with each side priced at 5-1 joint second favourites in Aussie Rules betting for the 2019 season.

Collingwood’s previous international recruits include Caolan Mooney and Marty Clarke.

Not all international recruits have worked out successfully, but it’s a route which has proved overall fruitful for the club. National recruiting manager Derek Hine is the driving force behind the deals and continues to think outside of the box when it comes to spotting potential.

The Pies have also announced a raft of re-signings in recent weeks, with Tom Langdon among the players committing their future to the club.

Despite being heavily linked with a move to Sydney, he’s opted to remain with Collingwood and that will come as a huge relief to fans. The intercept-marking specialist was a key competitor throughout the campaign and is likely to play a significant role once again in 2019.

Darcy Moore and Flynn Appleby have also committed to the club and signed two-year deals, while Josh Thomas has opted to remain at the club for a further three.

The new campaign may not get underway until March 2019, but the Pies have already bolstered their roster and their squad is already looking stronger even at this early stage.

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