Sheedy pushing for Tigers' Cousins bid - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sheedy pushing for Tigers' Cousins bid

By Guy Hand 11/12/2008 06:22:46 PM Comments (0)

Richmond are remaining tight-lipped on whether they want Ben Cousins at the club next year as Kevin Sheedy emerged as the prime mover in the push to get the fallen AFL star to the Tigers.

Richmond are considering throwing Cousins a lifeline should they succeed in having Graham Polak listed as a mature-age rookie for 2009 as he recovers from injuries sustained in a tram accident.

That would open up two selections for the Tigers in next week's pre-season draft, and the prospect of Richmond drafting confessed drug addict Cousins with the second of those.

While Richmond are refusing to comment on any Cousins plans until the AFL Commission rules on Polak next Monday - the day before the pre-season draft - it is understood favourite Tigers son Sheedy is leading the behind-the-scenes push to recruit Cousins.

The former Essendon coach has returned to the club he played for in an ambassadorial role, attempting to drive Richmond's membership and sponsorship.

Sheedy was no stranger to taking recruiting punts from left-field when he was coaching the Bombers, though as well as some big successes, there were spectacular failures.

But he argues taking a chance on the 2005 Brownlow Medallist is a win-win situation for both Cousins and the Tigers.

And he has publicly compared recruiting Cousins to Hawthorn's bold gamble on retired ex-Port Adelaide midfielder Stuart Dew, which paid off when the 29-year-old played an important role in the Hawks' premiership win.

The precedent the Tigers hope to follow with Polak occurred at Essendon under Sheedy, when the Bombers convinced the AFL to allow Adam Ramanauskas rookie list status as he recovered from cancer.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire is among those opposed to allowing Richmond two bites at the pre-season draft, questioning the timing of the Tigers' bid to shift Polak to clear the way for Cousins' possible recruitment.

"We've had a long time to think about Ben Cousins," McGuire told Fairfax Radio Network.

"These things should have been debated and discussed before the (national) draft rather than putting the Sword of Damocles to everyone emotionally."

If the AFL Commission rejected Polak being put on the rookie list, the Tigers would still be able to recruit Cousins, but only if they used their sole pre-season draft pick on him.

Meanwhile, bookmakers Sportingbet Australia rate Cousins a $1.50 chance to be picked up by Richmond in the pre-season draft, and $2.50 not to be.

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