Sumich would welcome Cousins back - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sumich would welcome Cousins back

26/09/2008 07:55:12 PM Comments (0)

West Coast assistant coach Peter Sumich has made the extraordinary claim that both he and coach John Worsfold would ask the club's board to allow disgraced AFL champion Ben Cousins back at the Eagles should the players push for the former skipper's return.

While the main focus on Saturday will be on the grand final showdown between Hawthorn and Geelong, Cousins will steal the pre-game spotlight by announcing on the Seven Network which AFL club he intends to join next season.

Sumich admitted there was probably "no chance" West Coast's board would allow Cousins to return but said he would love to see the 238-game veteran finish his career at the Eagles.

"It has been discussed at our club . . . and myself and John would have Ben back at the club," Sumich told 6PR's Footy on the Road panel audience.

"I think the players have done a big turnaround on that side of things ... but it would come down to a board decision, and there is no chance.

"Personally I would love to see him back. I think ... if he wants to continue his career (it) should finish at West Coast.

"If they (the players) make a strong pull, myself and John would put something together and we would take it to the board ... but it would be a big thing to change them around at the moment."

Cousins spoke publicly about his battle with addiction when interviewed by Garry Lyon at a Grand Final lunch this week.

"I have an addictive personality," Cousins said.

"It's the very thing that has made me single minded. It's made me train better than the next bloke, or harder than the next bloke, I have learned how to prepare myself.

"With that came the extremity of the way I balanced that out and that's what got me into the predicament that I'm in now.

"It's taken away my livelihood and ... given me a hell of a lot of pressure, pain and strain on my family and the people who are close to me."

Cousins' return to AFL ranks is far from a done deal, with the 2005 Brownlow Medallist still facing a number of hurdles before being able to resume his glittering career.

First and foremost, Cousins must convince the AFL and its medical officers he is completely over his drug addiction and is mentally and physically ready to play again.

This is by no means an easy task following his sensational fall from grace last season, which saw him dumped from West Coast and deregistered by the AFL for bringing the game into disrepute.

Should the AFL now deem Cousins ready for a return to elite ranks, the 30-year-old would be able to nominate for the pre-season draft.

Cousins, who has been strongly linked with a move to Collingwood, would then have to hope his club of choice regards him as being worth the risk and picks him up.

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