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Sports star of the week: Chris Cox

Chris Cox, third from left front row, made a huge difference to Douglas Villa Magpies since joining the team mid-season. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

The chance to play with his good mates was a big reason for Chris Cox to give away Central League to play Capital Division Two. CHRIS COGDALE spoke to the Magpies talisman.

Chris Cox was nearing the end of a seven-game contract with newly-promoted Central League side Havelock North Wanderers when the chance to join the struggling Douglas Villa Magpies in Capital division two came along.

Havelock North asked Cox to extend his contract, but the 25-year-old decided the logistics of travelling to Hawke’s Bay every second weekend was too onerous, and he fancied the prospect of reconnecting with many of his football playing mates from his secondary school days, including best friend Josh McMenamin, and younger brother Andrew, who is one of three Rathkeale students in the Magpies.

“Havelock North was quite an expensive and long trip, and Masterton, where I have family, was a little bit easier. I was happy to sacrifice the level of football just to play with my younger sibling and some of my best friends and see what we can achieve,” Cox said.

When he joined, the Magpies were languishing at the bottom of the league and were staring at the drop straight back down to Capital division three, and Cox admitted it wasn’t looking good for the embattled team.

“When I arrived it was a bit chaotic. They were on two points, and were struggling for numbers every single week. The team seemed to be in one of those positions where early season things weren’t looking so good, and me coming in gave a little bit of a bright spark to some of the senior lads that they may have been missing that for a few years.

“I watched the team culture slowly change and that’s one of the reasons I was coming in, to give a bit of experience to a lot of these players and show them a different way to look at football, and as we’ve gone through the weeks, we’ve put on some brilliant performances against teams that maybe should’ve beaten us.”

Since Cox’s arrival, Magpies have won six games and finished mid-table, a good result given that coach Malcolm Cox was let go in May.

“I guess without a proper head coach it hasn’t been the most structured season or most structured style of play, which is something I’m very used to, so it was a bit more of a challenge.”

Cox said with the club already actively recruiting players for next season, there is the potential in the team to push for portion to Capital division one.

Football has been a big part of Cox’s life since first kicking a ball as a toddler with Auckland’s Eastern Suburbs club.

After his family moved to Featherston, he played for the local club and then Chanel College and Wairarapa College.

He went on to play for Wairarapa United in the youth leagues and Central League before he moved to Wellington where he is self-employed doing digital marketing and design.

Now the football season is over, Cox intends to resume his kickboxing training with the aim of getting an elusive fight, after three previously arranged bouts were cancelled at late notice.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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