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Drugs saga “drained the life” out of Dempsey

Former Essendon defender Courtenay Dempsey has revealed the emotional toll the drugs saga took on him.

Speaking on Afternoons before tomorrow night’s Dreamtime at the ‘G clash, Dempsey  – who retired at the end of 2016 – said the last few years of his career “drained the life” out of him.

“The four or five years of turmoil got to me and really took the enjoyment out of football,” he said.

“I wasn’t too distraught about not playing again but at the same time I was still trying the find the right balance.

“A lot of the guys are still going through it and the club is also still going through it in some respect. It was very difficult and I wasn’t even one of the suspended players.”

Dempsey will play an integral role in the pre-match ahead of the marquee clash on Saturday night, coaching one of the sides in the curtain rasier.

He also works extensively with The Long Walk, an annual community event that takes place before Dreamtime at the ‘G every year.

“It’s about solidarity and coming together as one.”

Click PLAY for Courtenay Dempsey’s full interview on Afternoons