Former West Coast champion Dean Cox and Port Adelaide great Greg Phillips have been added to the 2020 intake inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
A six-time All Australian, Cox is considered one of the greatest ruckmen of the modern era, having redefined the role with his elite skills and mobility.
“He changed what that ruck role looks like and he stood up in big games and in big moments, and he was able to do it for an extended period of time,” dual Brownlow medallist and former teammate Chris Judd said of Cox.
“In terms of ruckmen, you think of ‘Polly’ Farmer and the way he introduced handball and perfected that.
“I think of Dean Cox with his ability to kick the ball with both sides of his body, to cover the ground and really accumulate uncontested as well as contested possessions.”
Cox, now an assistant coach with the Sydney Swans, was elevated to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, having retired in 2014.
The 38-year-old played a West Coast club-record 290 games and was a member of the 2006 premiership team in a star-studded on-ball division alongside the likes of Judd, Ben Cousins and Daniel Kerr.
Cox’s remarkable career unfolded after he was initially overlooked at the national draft and elevated off the rookie list.
Phillips was an eight-time SANFL premiership player across two stints with Port Adelaide, either side of a four-year spell with Collingwood in the VFL.
The tough and quick defender played 343 games for Port Adelaide and 84 for Collingwood, as well as 20 representative matches for South Australia.
Phillips was named Port Adelaide captain in 1991, holding the position for three seasons before his retirement, and capped his stellar career as the leader of the Magpies’ 1992 premiership side.
“From centre half-back, I cannot remember a time I had to change him because he was getting beaten, he was so good,” Port Adelaide father-figure John Cahill said.
“He was so strong, courageous, had the safest hands you’ve ever seen in your life.
“As soon as he got near the ball, the half-back flankers and the back pockets would just take off. He was so talented.”
Phillips is the father of AFLW star and former professional basketballer Erin Phillips.
Earlier this week, John Kennedy was named as the 29th Legend of Australian football, while modern-day greats Lenny Hayes, Simon Black and Jonathan Brown were all inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The final two inductees for the 2020 induction class will be named on Fox Footy on Thursday night.