Steve Johnson (Australian footballer)
Steven Leigh Johnson (born 4 July 1983) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Geelong Football Club and the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Football League (AFL). He was selected by Geelong with pick 24 in the 2001 AFL Draft. His first few years were plagued with inconsistency, injury and off-field problems. A medium-sized forward, Johnson is renowned for his freakish ability on the field, where he has consistently wowed fans with his penchant for extraordinary goals.
Johnson playing for Greater Western Sydney in June 2017
|Full name||Steven Leigh Johnson|
|Date of birth||4 July 1983|
Murray Bushrangers (TAC Cup)
|Draft||No. 24, 2001 national draft|
|Height||189 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||95 kg (209 lb)|
|2016–2017||Greater Western Sydney||40 (64)|
|Representative team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2017.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2008.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Early life and junior football
Johnson was suspended by his club for the first five matches of the 2007 season after he was arrested for public drunkenness in Wangaratta on 24 December 2006 - a charge which was later dropped. He returned in Round 6 against Richmond where he went on to contribute 21 possessions and two goals in a match Geelong won by 157 points. He went on to post career-best numbers across the board, capped off by All-Australian selection on the half-forward flank in September. His 2007 season was capped off when Johnson lead the Cats to victory in the Grand Final, collecting a premiership medallion, and winning the Norm Smith Medal for best on ground in the Grand Final. Johnson was hailed as a feel-good story for the year, with a good example of a player reforming after disciplinary action.
Early in 2008, Johnson lost his drivers' license and was sentenced to 50 hours working with the Transport Accident Commission after he was clocked in over 70 km/h over the speed limit in a 50 zone. Teammate Shannon Byrnes was in the car at the time. He had yet another stellar season on-field in 2008, kicking 49 home-and-away season goals and earning a spot on the forward flank in the All-Australian team of 2008. He gathered 34 disposals in the Cats' Grand Final loss to Hawthorn.
In 2011, 'Stevie Wonder', struggled to consistently produce the captivating form that had won him All Australian selection in previous years. He was still a force though, gaining recognition by being honored in the initial All-Australian squad of 40. His season nearly came to an abrupt end, when during the third quarter of the Preliminary Final between Geelong and West Coast, he appeared to sustain a serious injury to his left knee. Racing against the clock in order to gain fitness for the Grand Final against the Magpies, it was heavily speculated that Johnson would be unable to gain full fitness in time. For almost the entire week, whilst his team-mates trained in the spotlight, Johnson spent time up in Melbourne in a hyperbaric chamber. He recovered, and played a vital part in the Cats win over the Pies. He went on to kick 4 goals amongst 14 possessions, thus claiming his third premiership medallion.
In October 2015, Johnson signed a one-year contract with Greater Western Sydney. In his first match against his old club in Round 2, Johnson kicked two goals as his new club won by 13 points. On September 28, 2016 Johnson announced he had signed a one year contract extension with GWS, after missing their preliminary final loss due to suspension. Johnson played the final game of his career in the 2017 Preliminary Final, where he collected 15 disposals and 4 marks in a 36 point loss to Richmond.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|
|2016||Greater Western Sydney||17||22||43||26||255||152||407||93||63||2.0||1.2||11.6||6.9||18.5||4.2||2.9|
|2017||Greater Western Sydney||17||18||21||16||159||115||274||79||50||1.2||0.9||8.8||6.4||15.2||4.4||2.8|
- All-Australian U/18 (2001)
- Vic Country U/18 (2001)
Not long after his retirement as an AFL player, Johnson joined the Sydney Swans as an assistant coach.
- Murphy, Bob (31 May 2012). "Trick of the light, or just another Stevie J trick?".
- Ablett, Enright share best and fairest award ( 2 October 2009)
- Navaratnam, Dinny (19 October 2015). "Former Cats champ Stevie J to play on at Giants". AFL.com.au. Bigpond. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Adaimy, Roje (3 April 2016). "Giant shock for the Cats in Canberra". Australian Football League. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
- Buckley, James (28 September 2016). "Steve Johnson re-signs with Greater Western Sydney Giants until 2017".
- "Steve Johnson". AFL Tables. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
- "Sydney bolsters coaching stocks". Sydney Swans. 28 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Steve Johnson (Australian footballer).|
- Steve Johnson's profile on the official website of the Greater Western Sydney Giants
- Steve Johnson official website
- Steve Johnson's playing statistics from AFL Tables