Tim Watson has expressed his thoughts on former Essendon teammate Mark Thompson.
Thompson was yesterday arrested and charged with seven counts of drug trafficking and possession.
Watson explained his disbelief about how the 1993 premiership captain has fallen to such a point.
“I’m in a state of disbelief,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“I can’t comprehend that the person that I played alongside with, and the type of bloke that I knew him to be as a teammate and great leader, could find himself in a situation that he has found himself in.
“To piece together in my mind, it’s almost impossible to think that’s the same bloke.
“That’s not discounting what he has been charged for, if that’s the case and he is found guilty, that’s reprehensible behaviour and I don’t condone that in any way.
“The point is, I’m still having great difficulty in being able to marry up that person with that type of behaviour and that charge.”
Watson has attempted to chat with Thompson is recent time, with no response, something he says has become common.
“The last time I spoke to him would have been about mid last year,” he said.
“Mike Sheahan came out and interviewed both he, Terry and I about Kevin Sheedy. That was the last time I saw him.
“I haven’t spoken to him much in the last few years and I then left him a message probably a month ago, because a lot of us have been concerned about him and I thought it’s time to reach out, and I didn’t ever hear back. That is consistent with other people.”
The Bombers have a 1993 premiership team reunion in a few weeks, and Watson says nobody knew if Thompson was going to attend, as “there has been no sort of correspondence he (Thompson) has been replaying to.”
Watson also explained how Thompson has “denied” he has a drug problem, but his string of actions in the final stages of his coaching career created warning signs.
“I know that in the time he was at Essendon as one of the assistant coaches when he first arrived, they were concerned about his behaviour,” he said.
“I know Geelong were concerned about his behaviour when he was there. I know Frank Costa has talked about that.
“People say all these problems started when he went to Essendon, that’s not true. The Geelong people will tell you they were concerned about components of his behaviour.
“They never really went into detail, it was just his lifestyle choices that he was making around that time.
“When he arrived at Essendon during that period of time, they quizzed him, they asked him direct questions about things that were going on and he denied everything at that time.”
However, Watson conceded the lingering impacts of the Bombers supplements saga never left Thompson.
“That would be true from people that I know who still have spoken to him in more recent times than I did,” he said.
“He was never able to put that behind him.
“As is the case with a lot of people, there are still a lot of people who just are angry and bitter and twisted about what took place because they don’t believe what was effectively the penalty for people was justified. He is one of those people.
“The way it was painted and the way it played out, it was something that he was demented about.
“He would stay up all night reading and trying to find bits and pieces that would prove what they were saying throughout the course of that period of time. I think it has had an effect.
“He had possible behavioural problems and was making wrong choices before he came to Essendon, but I think that may have been a tipping point for him.”
Originally published on SEN.com.au