Fallen AFL star Ben Cousins has expressed remorse for his role in creating the drug culture that dogged West Coast for years after he was sensationally sacked by the club.
Cousins has spoken of his feelings for the Eagles in the tell-all documentary Ben Cousins: Coming Clean, which airs on Seven Network on Sunday night.
The Brownlow Medal winner and six-time All Australian played 238 games for West Coast before he was axed in 2007 after being arrested on drug-related charges.
“Oh, I am sorry, I am remorseful,” Cousins said of his negative influence on the Western Australian powerhouse.
“And the fallout from that has been pretty significant on the club.
“So, it has taken a while since that time for the club to find itself back in a position like it is today.”
Cousins was banned by the AFL for 12 months for bringing the game into disrepute soon after he was dumped by the Eagles.
He went on to play 32 games in two years at Richmond before retiring at the age of 32 at the end of the 2010 season.
Cousins’ life spun out of control in retirement, his issues with drug dependency resulting in him spending time in jail, where he watched West Coast’s 2018 grand final win over Collingwood.
It was a win that meant a lot to Cousins, who has struggled to come to terms with how his last few years with the Eagles played out.
“(You don’t know) how much I walk around with some of that stuff… other people probably never know,” he said.
“There was just another side to that (grand final) win and what it represented to me.
“(That) this just had done a full circle, you know? And although it’s a long time and a lot had happened … you got to live with that.
“It doesn’t change what took place at the time but it was almost like a bit of relief.”