Cousins Hall of Fame snub

Former West Coast captain Ben Cousins has been overlooked for induction into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in the first year he has become eligible for selection.

Cousins' career - which included a Brownlow Medal, four best and fairests and six All-Australian jumpers - was tainted by controversy because of the drug addiction which ended his time at the Eagles.

The Hall of Fame selection committee must take into account a player's record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship and character when considering candidates and Cousins was left out of the six-man induction group.

Former Perth captain Ern Henfry, ex-AFL captains Brad Johnson (Western Bulldogs), Anthony Koutoufides (Carlton) and Warren Tredrea (Port Adelaide), dual Adelaide Norm Smith medallist Andrew McLeod and Richmond star Matthew Richardson were added to the game's elite group.

Henfry played 85 games for Perth, winning the best and fairest in 1941, captaining the club for two years and coaching the Demons for 242 matches, including the 1955 premiership. He also played 84 games for Carlton. He captained the club to the 1947 premiership and won the first of two best and fairests in the same season.

Henfry had already been honoured by Perth, Carlton and the WAFL for his stellar career. He is in Perth's Team of the Century, Carlton's Hall of Fame and the WAFL Hall of Fame.

He passed away in 2007 but his son Ken spoke on his behalf.

"He would have enjoyed it. He loved Melbourne, he loved Perth, he loved the football clubs of Carlton and Perth Football Club. I think he would be doing cartwheels if he knew this had happened," he said.

Johnson played 364 games for the Western Bulldogs and was picked in the All-Australian team six times. A member of the club's Team of the Century, he also captained the Dogs and won three best and fairests.

Koutoufides' elevation came seven years after his 274-game career ended. The powerful midfielder, who could also play in key positions, won a premiership in 1995, captained the Blues and was a dual All- Australian.

McLeod's won Norm Smith medals in 1997-98 in Adelaide's premierships. The five-times All-Australian is the Crows' games record holder with 340 matches.

Tredrea was an outstanding centre half-forward for Port Adelaide and captained the team to the 2004 premiership in Matthew Primus' absence.

He was picked at centre half-forward in the All-Australian team from 2001-2004 when he dominated the competition.

Richardson's elevation foll-owed one of the most popular careers at Richmond.

A powerful forward who was athletic enough to play on the wing, he finished equal third in the 2008 Brownlow Medal.

The Tasmanian booted 800 goals from 282 matches and was named in Richmond's Team of the Century.

Last year, former Hall of Fame selector Brian Atkinson said he would have no problem inducting Cousins if he was still involved.

Cousins played 270 AFL games, including 238 for the Eagles, between his debut in 1996 and his axing after the 2007 season.

He returned at Richmond in 2009 and played 32 games in two seasons before retiring at the end of 2010.

But Cousins wasn't the only star overlooked in his first year of eligibility.

Brownlow medallist Jason Akermanis must also wait for his opportunity to have his time in the game recognised after a tumultuous career which ended at the Western Bulldogs.

The West Australian

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