Ben Cousins set for return to AFL field as fallen Eagles champion lands new media gig

The 45-year-old is continuing on his path to redemption.

Ben Cousins will lace up the boots and play in a curtain raiser before West Coast's AFL clash with GWS at Optus Stadium on Sunday. Just as he did last year, Cousins will join a number of Eagles greats when he plays in the Second Generation Academy game.

The exhibition match sees West Coast greats play alongside family members, with Cousins having a kick with his kids last year. Cousins will join the likes of Matt Priddis, Dwayne Lamb, Adam Selwood, Andrew Embley, Drew Banfield, Mark LeCras, Quinten Lynch and David Wirrpanda in the curtain raiser before the big match.

Ben Cousins.
Ben Cousins continues to get his life back on track. Image: Getty

In more good news for the fallen AFL champion, Cousins has scored a new gig on Perth breakfast radio, joining the Pete and Kymba Breakfast show on Mix94.5. The 45-year-old Cousins will join Pete Curulli and Kymba Cahill for the “Bensday Wednesday” segment each week.

Cousins had made a number of appearances on the program before, and Pete and Kymba said he would be a “great addition” to the team in 2024. “He was already a friend of the show last year but now that he’s signed an actual contract with Mix94.5, we can say that he’s an official friend of the show,” the hosts said. “Now that’s a whole new level of friendship.”

A "stoked" Cousins said: “They’re a great team to work with. I’m sure they’ll keep me on my toes, because you never know what type of scenario they’re going to throw you in.”

Cousins has been getting his life back on track in recent years after a staggering fall from grace since his retirement from the AFL in 2010. He has battled a well-documented drug addiction and spent time behind bars.

Should Ben Cousins be in AFL Hall of Fame?

Last year he attended his first Brownlow Medal ceremony in Melbourne since 2005 alongside his sister Melanie. When asked how he's been going, the 45-year-old said: "Really well actually. Life’s good. It’s been a long road, it really has.

"I wish it hadn’t needed to run its course like it did, but life’s great at the moment. When you strip everything back and assess your life, for anybody, it really is in its simplest form, goes back to what makes you happy and for a long time I wasn’t. But, you know, I very much am these days.”


Cousins' turnaround has sparked calls for the former West Coast captain to finally be inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame. The former Brownlow Medallist has been eligible for the Hall since 2013, but has been consistently overlooked due to his off-field behaviour and chequered past.

Ben Cousins, pictured here during a curtain raiser before a West Coast game in 2023.
Ben Cousins plays in a curtain raiser before a West Coast game in 2023.

Earlier this year, Kane Cornes re-ignited the debate and said "It's time" for Cousins to be elevated to the Hall. Demons captain Max Gawn agreed and said he believes enough time has passed for a re-think on Cousins' inclusion.

"I agree with Kane," Gawn said on 'The Marty Sheargold Show' on Triple M radio. "He was my favourite player growing up. He was my password for everything [at the time]. As a footballer - and that's what the AFL Hall of Game is, it' about football ability - he's a Brownlow Medallist and premiership captain."

Gary Ablett Sr - another highly controversial figure in the footy world - had to wait a number of years before he was finally inducted in 2005. And Wayne Carey was overlooked twice before getting his nod in 2010.

“It’s time," Cornes said on SEN radio. "There are others in the Hall of Fame who have had chequered history and it's time."