Lions decide against recruiting Cousins - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions decide against recruiting Cousins

28/11/2008 09:22:26 PM Comments (0)

Publicly at least, no AFL club wants Ben Cousins.

On the eve of the national draft, the Brisbane Lions issued a short media release to say they had decided against recruiting the 2005 Brownlow Medallist and self-confessed drug addict.

Unless a club dramatically changes their stance, Cousins will not play for at least another season.

"The Brisbane Lions wish to confirm that they are no longer considering recruiting Ben Cousins," the statement read.

"This means the club will not pursue Ben Cousins at the pre-season draft on December 16 or at Saturday's national draft as already advised."

Given Cousins is 30, time is rapidly running out for the former West Coast captain to resurrect his playing career.

Cousins' manager Ricky Nixon was unavailable for reaction on Friday night after the Lions announcement and an AFL spokesman said they would make no comment.

On Tuesday, St Kilda surprisingly decided not to recruit Cousins after five months of research.

They were considered the most likely club to offer him a second chance in the AFL.

The day after the Saints' decision, Cousins registered for the draft and the Lions confirmed they would look at possibly recruiting him in the December 16 pre-season draft.

Collingwood hired a private detective before declaring last month that they would not sign Cousins.

A year ago, the AFL deregistered him for bringing the game into disrepute.

The league commission decided a week ago to let him play again, but imposed rigorous conditions that include urine tests up to three times a week and hair tests four times a year.

Cousins described the conditions as very onerous, but decided to proceed with his attempted comeback.

New Brisbane coach Michael Voss and Lions football manager Graeme Allan visited Cousins last weekend in Perth.

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

He had previously lost the Eagles captaincy because of off-field controversy.

Cousins made his AFL debut in 1996 and played 238 games for the Eagles, including the 2006 premiership.

He is a four-time West Coast best and fairest player and a six-time All-Australian midfielder.

On Tuesday, league chief executive Andrew Demetriou stressed the need for an AFL club to draft Cousins, to help with his rehabilitation.

"It is a very important part of his rehabilitation to get him back plying his trade - to get him back in the workforce which he loves," Demetriou said.

"It's a very important step in his recovery and where he ends up playing I have no preference whatsoever."

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