American Pie Mason Cox now an Aussie

Collingwood ruck-forward Mason Cox has become an Australian citizen, eight years after he was first invited to try out a new sport in front of AFL scouts.

MASON COX of the Magpies and Jonathan Patton of the Giants contest possession during the JLT Community Series AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Collingwood Magpies at UNSW Canberra Oval in Canberra, Australia.
MASON COX of the Magpies and Jonathan Patton of the Giants contest possession during the JLT Community Series AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Collingwood Magpies at UNSW Canberra Oval in Canberra, Australia. Picture: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

It was once the furthest thing from his mind but Collingwood's American Pie can now officially call Australia home.

Eight years after first venturing down under to explore his AFL curiosity, Mason Cox has become a citizen of his adopted country.

And the goggle-wearing ruck-forward, now a cult hero to the black-and-white faithful, couldn't be more proud.

"It's quite emotional," Cox said as one of 110 people who made the pledge of commitment and received their Australian citizenship at the MCG on Wednesday.

"It's been eight years to get here and it's been quite a journey along the way."

Cox freely admits he had never heard of Melbourne or Australian football before the opportunity arose for the then college basketballer to try out in front of AFL talent scouts in 2014.

All the Texas native knew of Australia at that stage was Kangaroos and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Now the 31-year-old plans to spend the rest of his life here.

"(It's about) opportunity, just like a lot of people here," Cox said.

"We've got some amazing people that are refugees from different countries who have a lot better stories than I do.

"This country has provided a lot of opportunity for different people and it's a pretty amazing thing that the culture here provides.

"There's a lot of people that are willing to reach out and help each other and that's something I've definitely noticed in my time here, and I'm very proud to be a part of it."

A polarising on-field figure across his 82 AFL games to date, Cox has shown glimpses of his match-winning potential in big games and has hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks.

He has been a key contributor in Collingwood's four-match winning streak leading into Sunday's clash with GWS and said some of the credit should go to his new coach.

"Craig (McRae) has got a different perspective than a lot of people who I've met in my lifetime and I've got a very close relationship with him, so I've got a lot of trust in him," Cox said.

"A lot of people say I usually play better whenever my family's in town and my mum and dad are here until at least July 12, so hopefully it can last at least that long and maybe a bit further.

"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster every year but I'm very excited to see what the next few games and the future holds."