West Coast forward Mark LeCras wants to see Dean Cox play on next year, saying the champion ruckman’s experience will be a crucial asset to a team still finding its feet under rookie AFL coach Adam Simpson.
Cox is yet to decide whether to continue playing for a 15th season, with the emergence of Scott Lycett complicating matters.
Lycett comes out of contract at the end of the season, and the Eagles face a fight to retain the South Australian.
The 21-year-old has played just four games this season, but he impressed in last week’s win over Gold Coast with 16 possessions, six marks, 18 hit-outs and a goal.
Cox was rested for that match, but his likely return for Sunday’s clash with St Kilda at Etihad Stadium could squeeze Lycett out of the side.
West Coast sit two wins outside the top-eight and are unlikely to play finals this year.
Skipper Darren Glass has already announced his retirement, but LeCras feels 32-year-old Cox still has plenty to offer, especially as the Eagles attempt to bring more youngsters through the ranks.
“I love playing with Coxy. I’m sure he’ll make the right decision for himself and the footy club,” LeCras said on Monday.
“I think he’s got a lot to give. He (provides) great leadership around the footy club.
“He’s got a lot of experience and he’s a great player. I’m sure the club and him will figure that out in time when he’s ready.”
Meanwhile, LeCras says he’s still confused on the contentious bump issue.
Under tougher laws introduced this year, players are held accountable for any head-high contact stemming from bumps, even if the initial contact is shoulder-to-shoulder.
Star Dockers midfielder Nat Fyfe was considered unlucky to get suspended earlier this year for his bump on Michael Rischitelli, with other players escaping sanctions for similar incidents.
When asked if he was clear on the bump issue, LeCras replied: “Not really to be honest.
“It’s a funny one when you look at some of the incidents that have happened in the past.
“I’ve seen a few where people have been done and a few where they haven’t, and it’s still finding its feet probably.”
LeCras copped his own one-match ban earlier this year for his clumsy head-high bump on Giants youngster Will Hoskin-Elliott.
The 27-year-old also missed four games after breaking his arm for a second time in the space of 12 months, but he said the arm guard he now wears should prevent any more breaks.