Lions knock back Cousins for draft - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions knock back Cousins for draft

26/11/2008 05:43:58 PM Comments (0)

Ben Cousins appears set to miss out on selection on Saturday's AFL national draft after the Brisbane Lions announced they would not select him.

But the Lions have not ruled out picking up Cousins in next month's pre-season draft after continuing their due diligence process assessing the troubled midfielder.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Lions said they would continue to consider drafting the 2005 Brownlow Medallist if they retain a vacancy on their playing list for the December 16 pre-season draft.

The club, which appears the only team in the running for Cousins' services following St Kilda's withdrawal on Tuesday night, said it would make no further comment about the issue.

The news comes after the AFL confirmed Cousins had put his name forward for consideration in the national draft as he seeks to rebuild his career following drugs problems and a 12-month ban for bringing the sport into disrepute.

Cousins has not played since late 2007 after he was sacked by former club West Coast, and Cousins later confessed to battling drug addiction.

Cousins received permission from the league last week to renew his AFL career and was given until Wednesday to decide whether to nominate for the national draft.

The Lions have consistently said the door wasn't shut on signing the former West Coast captain and coach Michael Voss and football manager Graeme Allan flew to Perth on the weekend to speak to him.

Cousins said he saw nominating for both drafts as an important step in his rehabilitation process.

"I hope to get the opportunity to return to the game that I love," he said in a statement.

"Playing football at the highest level again is an important part of my ongoing rehabilitation and I believe that I can be a valuable contributor at an AFL club."

Cousins would have to be picked up in either the national draft or the pre-season draft on December 16 to resume his AFL career, otherwise he would be unable to play top-level Australian football in 2009.

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