West Coast premiership coach John Worsfold has reflected on the painful break up between the club and Ben Cousins on the Channel 7 documentary that aired on Sunday night.
‘Ben Cousins: Coming Clean’ brought the two together for the first time in years. Cousins admitted to deep regret for the destructive decisions that derailed his and the Eagles’ trajectory during the club’s multiple tilts at the premiership.
“I did my absolute best to hold him accountable to the values that we wanted to live at West Coast,” Worsfold said.
“In the end we couldn’t align on those and there had to be a break.”
Cousins had a hugely prolific 238-game career with the Eagles before being sacked by the club in 2007 after being arrested on drug-related charges.
Worsfold, Cousins’ premiership coach in 2006, remembered the gulf that began to grow between the Brownlow Medallist’s personal and professional life.
“Ben decided that, outside his professional time, in his personal time he needed to live a certain way,” he said.
“All I’d say is that he didn’t believe there was anything wrong with that, that this is not affecting anyone, ‘This is for me and my private life’.
“Now that obviously escalated, where he didn’t really have control at some point.
“He was never turning up under the influence of anything when he had training or games.
“It was a conscious decision that he’d made that this was OK to do.”
Cousins played a much-maligned role in the Eagles’ drug culture which saw the club plummet to the bottom of the ladder just four years after claiming the 2006 flag, amid off-field chaos.
“Oh, I am sorry, I am remorseful,” Cousins said.
“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 has been arrested multiple times on drug-related charges since his retirement from the game. He watched the Eagles’ grand final win over Collingwood in 2018 from jail.