'It's cost me': Nichols opens up on drugs bust
A REMORSEFUL Mitch Nichols has conceded he thought his professional soccer career was over and revealed that his drug arrest cost him a deal in Europe.
Breaking his silence, Nichols has vowed to repay Perth Glory's faith after they handed him a reprieve and revealed that the arrest and facing his mum have been the biggest 'reality checks'.
Nichols, 28, was arrested last month during a random drug sweep at a Sydney nightclub but escaped a criminal record after admitting possession of 1.1g of cocaine.
He was issued with a good behaviour bond plus a four-game ban from Football Federation Australia for breaching its code of conduct.
Capped five times by the Socceroos, the former Western Sydney, Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar midfielder revealed that it's been a huge reality check.
"Getting arrested, going to court, having your face splashed across the news, making that phone call to your mum. These are things you never want to do," Nichols said.
"Mum gave me the third degree a few times. I deserved it. It's a big lesson and it's cost me in a few ways. It's something I'll never repeat.
"People look at me differently now and rightly so. It doesn't sit well, it's affected everything, but that's my fault and I have to cop that.
"Straight after you can feel people's eyes on you and it's not for football. It's for something you don't want to be associated with. It's not a good feeling.
"It's been pretty tough. I stuffed up and I've got to prove to people I've learnt and moved on.
"A good behaviour bond was the best outcome with the situation I put myself in. (With) a criminal record, you can't travel, can't work overseas. It would've impacted the rest of my life.
"It was a big wake up call and makes you realise football can be taken away (quickly). I let down my family and friends and the football community."
Nichols, who said his agent Buddy Farah has gone "above and beyond" for him, declared that he will fight to be remembered for his on-field exploits.
"I've got to let my football do the talking, I don't want to be remembered for this incident," he said.
"Even off the field, making the right decisions with my health and lifestyle.
"I did (think it was over). I was wondering if I was going to play (again).
"Football was almost taken away from me, it was my own fault. It wasn't a good month, still isn't and I'm still dealing with it."
Nichols, who signed a two-year deal with Glory, revealed plans to educate kids on the impact "bad choices" can have on the rest of your life.
He feels he has unfinished business at Glory after a brief stint in 2014-15.
"I owe it to Perth for giving me a chance when I didn't think anyone would," Nichols said.
"I've gotta go there and pay them back and have a big year under Kenny (Lowe).
"A few clubs were interested but I felt like Glory were the best fit for me. I've been there and I felt like I have a bit to do, go back there and win something."