ALEX Johnson has re-signed with the Northern Blues, committing to his second year at Preston City Oval.
Johnson’s story is one known to many, with the former Swan joining Northern for the 2019 season in his comeback from a knee injury.
Having taken on a dual role in 2019, Johnson has returned for 2020 and will solely focus on the playing side of things: new coaching addition Chad Owens was previously announced as the Head of Development.
Having played 10 games for Northern in 2019 in the back line, it could be regarded as a successful year for the AFL premiership player.
Making his Northern debut in the Bullant guernsey for Heritage Round, Johnson went onto average 13.4 disposals and three tackles per game. Johnson’s experience from eight years in the AFL has made him a clear mentor and leader at the Blues both on and off the field.
Speaking on the re-signing, Northern Blues senior coach Josh Fraser commended Johnson’s leadership qualities and standing amongst the group.
He said the returning Johnson’s value was one felt by players and staff alike.
“It’s hard to measure his importance to the group: I think his experience, determination and drive, his voice and leadership, it’s incredibly important,” Fraser said.
“I don’t know what price you put on that but when you’ve got such a young group: culturally, he’s been a great asset. I’m sure he’s looking to improve his footy even further in 2020.
“You notice straight away when he’s out there, the direction he gives the playing group and the lift he gives them.”
2020 Northern Blues playing list
Returning: Mason Blakey, Kieran Collins, Alex Johnson, Kye Quirk, Noah Wheeler, Oscar White, Tom Wilson
New Blues: Jake Bartholomaeus, Jordan Cunico, Cody Hirst
Announcements will continue to be made over the course of pre-season.