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Fox eyes senior action

Luke McManus  January 10, 2018 8:22 AM

Robbie Fox celebrates a goal against Collingwood in Round 3, 2017. - Robbie Fox

Robbie Fox celebrates a goal against Collingwood in Round 3, 2017.

It was in last year’s pre-season competition that Robbie Fox catapulted into senior contention.

And it’s in this year’s that the utility plans to impress again in the hope for more game time in season 2018.

Fox played in all three of the Sydney Swans’ JLT Community Series matches and showed enough ability to earn a Round 2 debut plus two more games in what was a promising start to his AFL career.

His VFL background undoubtedly made the mature-ager’s transition easier but the pre-season competition provided the actual stepping the stone for Fox to make an immediate impact at AFL level when the time came.

With just eight weeks until the next opportunity arrives, a welcomed sense of anticipation and excitement is creeping into Fox’s line of thinking.

Unfortunately, so is what halted Fox’s progress in the first place.

An injury in Round 4 sidelined him for two weeks only to then suffer a season-ending ankle injury in Round 14 of the NEAFL.

Now fully healed and fitter than this time last season, the 24-year-old is confident he can put some solid football together in early March before beginning 2018 on the right foot.

“The setback is definitely the one thing driving me to get back to playing senior footy,” Fox said.

“I was lucky enough to play pretty early in my first year and get a few games under my belt.

“Then a few injuries happened which was annoying. Going from having a good pre-season and playing early to then getting injured, it sets me back to the twos and then I was even further back when I couldn’t even get on the field.

“I’m lucky that playing football is now my full-time job so it’s nothing to get too overly frustrated about.”

A busy off-season has seen Fox return in great shape while a positional change will see him use his speed and agility as an attacking defender rather than a defensive forward.

“Last year I was starting from scratch, but I trained well up to the end of the season then put in a big off-season so I’m already in good nick,” Fox said.

“I’m now just concentrating on my skills rather than having to put too much emphasis on the fitness component, which is a good spot to be in.”

Barring any setbacks, and with rookie listed players now eligible for senior selection, there’s no cap on what Fox hopes to achieve this season.

“I’m fit and healthy — that’s what everyone’s goals should be — and the way I’m training at the moment the goal is certainly Round 1 then hopefully its only up and up from there.”