Cousins moves towards AFL comeback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cousins moves towards AFL comeback

01/08/2008 06:26:04 AM Comments (0)

Former West Coast skipper Ben Cousins says he will begin training with a West Australian Football League (WAFL) club next week and is confident he can return to the AFL next season.

Cousins on Thursday night said he had met with AFL medical experts in Melbourne in recent days to continue the process of assessment needed to eventually be granted the right to return to the league.

The 30-year-old is serving a 12-month ban from the AFL after he was found guilty by the AFL Commission last November of bringing the game into disrepute, relating to his substance abuse.

"Everything I'm doing is about keeping that opportunity (to return to the AFL) open," Cousins told the Nine Network.

"I think this next step is a big one, getting back into a club environment and back into a footy routine.

"I'm sure it will be nice to get back to training, get back to grass roots and see how the body feels.

"It will be a pretty important part of assessing where I'm at."

Cousins said Perth and East Fremantle were the two WAFL clubs he intended to train at, with the possibility he would also train at VFL club Port Melbourne later in the year.

"I'm heading back to Perth now with the hope of starting training at Perth and East Fremantle well within the next week," he said.

"Back in a home environment, back in a footy club environment, run onto a few footies, see how the body feels and come back (to Melbourne) some time in September."

Cousins is expected to front the AFL Commission in October, and needs to satisfy them he has overcome the drug-related issues that led to his ban in order to be granted the right to enter the following month's national draft.

"I am confident, I know what I've been doing in my recovery and if I stay clean things should take care of themselves," he said.

Cousins played 238 matches for West Coast from 1996 to 2007, including the 2006 premiership, and won the Brownlow Medal in 2005.

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