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Cousins remains unsure about comeback

27/06/2008 06:29:27 AM Comments (0)

Fallen AFL star Ben Cousins plans to register with VFL side Port Melbourne by next Monday as he keeps his football options open.

Cousins doubts he will play in the VFL this year, but wants to enter into more specific football training.

In an interview on Channel Nine's The Footy Show, Cousins said he would probably move from Perth and live in the Port Melbourne area.

Cousins, who also turns 30 on Monday, said he was "not sure" if he wanted to return to the AFL next season.

"I want to do a bit more football-specific training, see how the body feels ... I don't want to come back and slip up again," he said.

"I want to be 100 per cent certain that one, I can do it and two, that's what I want to do.

"I intend to hopefully register with Port Melbourne in the hope of coming over to Melbourne at some stage later in the year and training.

"I don't intend to play at this stage, but certainly to keep the options open."

The former West Coast captain, 2006 Eagles premiership player and 2005 Brownlow Medallist said he had enjoyed his time away from the game and had not yet spoken to any AFL clubs about a possible comeback.

But television footage and pictures out of Perth show Cousins has clearly maintained his fitness and if the circumstances are right, he is supremely confident in being able to make a successful AFL comeback.

"The question is why would they, or why wouldn't they?," he said of clubs that might want to draft him.

"Why would they? I thought I played reasonable footy over the course of my career.

"I'm being a bit sarcastic - why wouldn't they? You say why would they - why wouldn't they?

"I wasn't playing bad footy before I shipped off to rehab, so from that point of view I've been highly functional.

"It's never been a case of it affecting my footy or diminishing the impact I can have on a game - it's just the off-field stuff that it runs into."

Cousins said he had maintained his fitness so if and when the time comes to decide on a top-level comeback, the choice can be his.

But Cousins was more circumspect on whether he could guarantee a prospective AFL club that there would be no further off-field turmoil.

"It's an in-depth question that can't be answered in the space of a couple of minutes," he said.

Cousins has admitted to battling a drug addiction and on November 19 last year the AFL suspended him for 12 months for bringing the game into disrepute.

But he remains eligible to keep playing football in a lower competition, such as the VFL.

He said it was the addiction, rather than the on-field pressures, that was making him unsure about a comeback.

"It's not preparing for footy, it's not being fit enough, it's not wondering if I'm going to get a kick, but it's everything that comes with it," he said.

"It's having to take into account everything that comes with addiction."


Cousins added that "on the law of averages" he would return with a Victorian club and expected a decision on a comeback would be made during this year's finals.

He also would not go into specifics of his rehabilitation, saying it was "an ongoing process", but added "life's good, I've enjoyed the time away from footy".

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