Cousins hopes to play AFL again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cousins hopes to play AFL again

By Nicolas Perpitch, Liza Kappelle and Sam Lienert 25/10/2007 08:52:33 PM Comments (0)

Dumped West Coast Eagles star Ben Cousins was still hoping to resume his AFL career as he flew out of Perth, apparently headed for more drug rehab in the United States.

Cousins, 29, was sacked by West Coast last week, a day after being charged with possessing a prohibited drug, diazepam, otherwise known as valium.

That charge was later dropped, but Cousins still faces a charge of refusing to take a driver drug test, after being pulled over in Perth for allegedly driving erratically in a club sponsor's car.

He appeared in court last Thursday, when he was granted a three-month adjournment to return to California for rehabilitation treatment.

One of the top 10 earners in the AFL, Cousins' sacking has deregistered him as an AFL player and threatens his footballing career.

He can nominate for the pre-season draft and it will then be up to the AFL Commission to decide whether to accept or reject his nomination.

League chief executive Andrew Demetriou last week said it was unlikely Cousins would play in the AFL again.

However, Geelong president Frank Costa said Cousins should be given another chance.

"(He should) get away from the environment where, unfortunately, he was tempted too much and be given a red-hot go," Costa told Network Ten.

Dressed in a T-shirt, jeans and snakeskin boots, Cousins clearly hoped this would happen as he was asked by reporters at Perth's domestic airport if he hoped to resume his footballing career.

"Absolutely," Cousins told today's media scrum.

Was he disappointed the Eagles had washed its hands of him?

"No, not at all," Cousins said.

Cousins has never tested positive for illicit drugs.

But he was suspended indefinitely from West Coast just before the 2007 season and underwent several weeks of drug rehabilitation in the US.

He returned to the game midway through the year after agreeing to stringent contract conditions, including that he not test positive to drugs or fall foul of the law.

Cousins is believed to be headed to the exclusive Summit Centre drug rehabilitation clinic in Malibu.

The Seven Network reported Cousins checked in on a flight to Los Angeles via Sydney.

"I go over to get back in contact with the network that I established when I was in rehab earlier in the year and keep training and hopefully come back to play a bit of footy," Cousins told Seven.

Earlier, he told reporters he was not sure how long he would be away.

"I haven't decided mate, I'm not sure," he said.

Asked if he would be away months, he replied: "Hopefully not. I'd like, hopefully, to be training by then".

Of his arrest he said: "Oh, that's all out of my control now. I'm just hoping to go away and let the people who are in a position to sort that out, do that".

Cousins also spoke of the recent sudden death in Perth of his friend, 41-year-old former West Coast star turned sports presenter Chris Mainwaring.

"Obviously, Chris has been a good mate of mine and I've had my own personal issues but it makes what I am going through insignificant when you look at what the Mainwaring family are going through," he said.

Costa later said Sydney was one club that could help Cousins turn his career around, given their track record of successfully integrating big-name recruits from other clubs.

"They were able to take boys from other clubs who, for whatever reason, those clubs were not having the ability to manage those boys," Costa said.

Tony Lockett, Barry Hall and Nick Davis are three high-profile players who have enjoyed successful second stanzas to their careers in Sydney after starting out at other AFL clubs.

Last Friday, police said they made a mistake when they laid the drug charge against Cousins because diazepam is prohibited only in injectable liquid form.

However, the Eagles have refused to take Cousins back following his string of off-field misdemeanours which included abandoning a car, with his now ex-girlfriend in it, in the middle of a Perth highway to flee a booze bus test last year.

Cousins' criminal lawyer Shane Brennan is seeking legal advice from a civil lawyer over whether anyone can be sued over the events that led to his client's sacking.

The midfielder would not say today whether he intended to sue.

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