Cousins return good for the game: Brown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cousins return good for the game: Brown

By Laine Clark 10/03/2009 08:47:03 PM Comments (0)

If Jonathan Brown had his way, the formidable Brisbane Lions skipper would be playing alongside Ben Cousins rather than wondering how to combat him ahead of Friday night's AFL practice match on the Gold Coast.

Brown said early Lions interest in signing the fallen star was fully backed by the players - the Brisbane captain, especially.

Indeed, Brown sounded more like a fan than a foe when Cousins' well documented comeback inevitably came up ahead of the controversial midfielder's expected appearance for Richmond against the Lions at Carrara.

"I supported the bid early on, but there were a lot of other factors other than just asking the players, and we certainly understand that from our point of view," Brown said on Tuesday.

"The club went against it (signing Cousins) but everyone was hopeful that he went on and did well for himself.

"He's been a great player and I am sure he will be able to pick up where he left off, so it's a challenge for us - he's another gun midfielder we've got to contend with.

"It's great to see him back, I reckon it is good for the game."

Brown said he was "like everyone else" and was glued to the TV when Cousins made his recent comeback for Richmond in the NAB Cup.

"It's a big human interest piece for not only AFL followers but probably sporting followers all around the country," he said.

"Memberships (at Richmond) have gone up and no doubt the crowd figures will come up (at games Cousins plays).

"I thought he moved around alright (against Collingwood). It will obviously take a little while to get his match fitness up.

"Hopefully he is a success - just not against us."

Brown said the jury was out on whether the 30-year-old Cousins would ever recapture his Brownlow Medal-winning form.

However, Brown reckoned he would go close.

"Age is going to catch up with any 30-plus year-old but maybe after 12 months out of the game he would have been able to freshen the body up," he said.

"There's no reason why he shouldn't be able to get back and play some real solid football.

"Whether he gets back to Brownlow Medal form or not it remains to be seen.

"I would expect him to get close to that level."

Brown predicted new coach and former teammate Michael Voss would let loose some of their younger midfielders on Cousins if the fallen West Coast Eagle played on Friday night.

"He is one of the hardest working midfielders the game has seen, maybe Vossy will be thinking about putting a couple of the boys on him to find out what his workrate is like," he said.

"(But) I wouldn't like to be chasing him around. I might be gone before I am 30 if I had to chase him."

The Lions are sweating on utility Jared Brennan (quad) ahead of the clash with Richmond who they have not beaten since 2004.

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