Johnson to steer defending Premiers to back to back titles
18 Sep, 2019
Jay Johnson will be looking to become the first Captain to win back to back Premierships after he was announced that he will once again lead the Western Crows for the 2020 AFL New Zealand Premiership.
The Crows won their second title in 2019 as they finished second on the ladder but put on a polished performance in the Grand Final to defeat the Southern Saints by 36 points.
“I think the last half of the season we started playing our best footy so we will look to build from there and have another crack at the title.”
The Premiers fielded a squad which was a mixture of experienced players along with a number of young players that came of age in 2019.
“A lot of the younger squad members stepped up last year, the likes of Joey [Alesich-Tamariki] and Jake Tucker, but also the senior lads really showed their value on the pitch. Shane [Leat], Sam Anderson, Sam Burdett, Ryan White and big Ty Smith added a lot of impact during the last half of the season.”
They also faired well in last year’s draft where they picked up a few unknown players who dominated on the footy field.
“Picking up players such as Ben Daly, Jay Green (#2) and Clayton Campbell in the draft really helped our experience and direction on the field and this showed during the Grand Final where they took control of the game.”
The 27 year old has been a pivotal squad member for the Crows over the past four seasons with his endurance running, smooth ball skills and calm demeanour make him stand out in every game.
Johnson has been named in every Premiership ‘Team of the Year’ since the competition’s inception and his long list of accolades include the competitions Best and Fairest winner in 2018 and was the Crow’s Best and Fairest in 2016.
First representing New Zealand in 2011, Jay was introduced to the game by former AFL New Zealand representative and current New Zealand Sevens All Blacks team member, Sam Dickson.