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It's Stevie J's Time

GIANTS Media  August 10, 2017 9:27 AM

Stevie-J.jpg

Steve Johnson has confirmed that the 2017 season will be the last of his illustrious career.

At the end of last year I came to a decision that I would push and play one more and I feel very content that I’ll be leaving the game with nothing left in the tank and to some degree that’s very satisfying.

GIANTS forward and former Geelong Premiership star Steve Johnson has confirmed that he will call time on his highly decorated playing career at the end of the 2017 season.

Johnson joined the GIANTS at the end of 2015 following a stellar career at the Cats that included three Premierships, 253 games and 452 goals.

The 34-year-old is currently in his second season with the GIANTS after enjoying an outstanding first season that yielded 22 games and 43 goals in 2016.  

“At the end of last year I came to a decision that I would push and play one more and I feel very content that I’ll be leaving the game with nothing left in the tank and to some degree that’s very satisfying,” he said.

“I’d love to finish on a fairytale but that doesn’t always happen. What I will do is I will train and play as hard as I can over the next six weeks, hopefully the body holds up, but I’ll certainly be going to the well as many times as I can to prepare myself and give myself and the team that opportunity.

“It’s a really important period for this footy club. I’ve had a great journey here so far, it hasn’t been long but we want to have the ultimate success and I would love to be a part of it.

“I’ll leave footy at the end of this year very content I’ve got every last inch out of myself.”

It was in the blue and white hoops that Johnson initially made his name after joining Geelong in the 2001 National AFL Draft at pick 24.

During his 13 seasons with the Cats, Johnson was a member of Geelong's 2007, 2009 and 2011 premiership sides and won the Norm Smith Medal as best on ground in the 2007 Grand Final. He was the Cats’ leading goal kicker in 2008 and 2010 as he went on to kick 452 goals in 253 games before joining the GIANTS for the 2016 season.

He also earned All-Australian honours in 2007, 2008 and 2010 and named in the extended All-Australian squad in 2009 and 2011. 

Johnson made an immediate impact at the GIANTS in 2016 and has played 14 games so far this season for 15 goals, including the match-winner against Collingwood in round eight.

This season has also seen Johnson kick his 500th career goal and he sits in second on the list of all-time goal assists on 255.

GIANTS General Manager of Football Wayne Campbell paid tribute to Johnson.

“Steve has had a simply outstanding career,” Campbell said.

“His legacy as a Geelong player is unquestionable and his impact at our club both on and off the field over the past two seasons has been immeasurable. 

“He exceeded all our expectations with his on-field performance last season but what people don’t often see is the impact he has had on our young forward group and the knowledge he has passed on.

“We congratulate him on a wonderful career and the legacy he has left on our game.”

Coach Leon Cameron echoed Campbell’s sentiments. 

“He’s an extraordinary character, he lets his footy do the talking and there’s no doubt over 16 years he’s done that,” Cameron said.

“In his short period of time here, he’s had a massive impact.

“Off the field he adds fun, he adds seriousness, he adds a competitive brand to our footy club and he wants to play every moment like it’s his last and that’s all you can ask.

“Our young fellas who have had the opportunity to run around with him on the track or in the gym or on the footy field on game day have no doubt cherished every moment.

“There’s been some massive names that have finished up in the last week or two and he’s been right up there with them.” 

Steve Johnson

Debut: 2002
Premierships: 2007, 2009, 2011
Norm Smith Medallist: 2007
All Australian Selection: 2007, 2008, 2010
Games: 289
Goals: 510