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Cousins early Xmas present: cheer squad

By Edwina Scott 16/12/2008 05:35:43 PM Comments (0)

Ben Cousins' arrival in Tigerland is an early Christmas present for the club, the Richmond cheer squad president says.

Richmond's decision to pick Cousins in the AFL pre-season draft was met with delight from many Tiger fans who had urged the club to take on the drug addict.

"It's an early Christmas present," cheer squad president David Norman told AAP.

"The guy is one of the best dozen players in the competition over the last 10 years.

"Alright, he's had a couple of problems, let's hope he's sorted them out, [he's] well worth the risk."

Cousins' career looked doomed when Richmond said on Monday it was unlikely to pick him after failing in a bid to be given a second draft pick.

But the club gave the former West Coast captain, premiership player and 2005 Brownlow medallist a lifeline on Tuesday after he was overlooked by every other AFL club.

Norman said Cousins would be a "big plus" for any team and gave the nod to Richmond's decision.

"We've taken a punt and I think it's well worth it," he said.

"We picked him up in a draft that over half the clubs didn't even want to enter.

"We've got a guy who's won a Brownlow Medal and he's come to Tigerland for a song.

"If it all falls flat on its face at least we tried.

"This is our decision - let's all get on board and support it."

But not all Richmond fans were happy as blogs and web sites were jammed with reaction.

One supporter, who called himself Spiros of Mordialloc, vowed to tear up his Richmond membership.

"When will people understand that this is not Ben's second chance," he wrote on the Herald Sun website.

"He has already been afforded about 6 chances by the WCE (West Coast Eagles) and the AFL.

"He clearly has some issues and I don't want to see his influence on our emerging group. Very, very poor decision Tigers."

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