Brad Johnson: Australian Rules “Smiling Assasin”
Brad Johnson played for Western Bulldogs and Footscray and holds the record of playing more than 300 games throughout his career.
Born in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria on July 18, 1976, Brad Johnson made his debut in 1994 after being recruited from Williamstown.
During his career he earned himself the title of ‘Smiling Assassin’ because of the constant smile he had on his face. Referred to as a damaging midfielder or forwarder. One of his most famous accomplishments throughout his career was his soccer-style half volley in 2005. He kicked a goal from a very tight angle on boundary line, which became the Goal of the Year contender.
Brad Johnson retired in 2010 after playing 364 games in which he scored a total of 543 goals. His regular playing position was half-forward flank.
He however sometimes played as midfielder or forward pocket if he was out of play or was heavily marked.
Western Bulldogs / Footscray Career
Brad Johnson started his career in 1994 and became one of the most popular figures of his club. He won Best and Fairest award thrice.
He went on to win the title in 1999, 2002 and 2006. He was selected as the member of All-Australia Team in years 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006 & 2007. Later in 2006, he was awarded with the captaincy of both Western Bulldogs and All-Australia Team. He became the captain of the Western Bulldogs after Luke Darcy injured himself during a game. The 2006 season was one of the best for Brad as he scored 70 goals that year that gave him the second position in Coleman Medal.
This achievement of Brad Johnson is considered to be one of his greatest because for last 11 games during the 2006 season, He played with a serious shoulder injury and later had to go for a surgery.
Brad Johnson marked the beginning of the 2008 season against Adelaide Crows. It was his 300th game and he went on to score 5 goals in the second half of the game, 3 of which came in the last 7 minutes of the game.
This earned the Western Bulldogs the top position with a 3 points lead.
The Downfall since 2008 Season
During 2008 season, Brad Johnson was up against North Melbourne in Round 9 but missed after he shot on a 45-degree angle from 35 meters out. Next year in Round 9, Brad Johnson missed the same opportunity while playing against Geelong Cats.
This time he was only 10 meters out from the goal and had a tight angle.
Brad Johnson announced his retirement after 2010 season on September 6, 2010.
The last game he played was on September 18, 2008 after the Western Bulldogs lost to St Kilda two consecutive times in a preliminary final.
Career After Football
On Fox Footy Channel, Brad Johnson was the co-host of Auskick’n Around, which was an AFL show for children.
He co-hosted the show with Matthew Lloyd who was the former captain of Essendon Football Club. The show was eventually cancelled towards the end of year 2005.
As of date Brad Johnson is the Mix 101.1 Resident Footy Expert along with Anthony Lehmann and Brigitte Duclos on Friday Morning.
Brad Johnson was the panelist for AFL Game Day of Seven Network. He was also the panelist for Seven Network’s coverage of 2010 AFL Grand Final.
Post Retirement Life
Brad Johnson debuted for Fox Sports and 3AW Football in season 2012. As of date, he is also a regular contributor to the website named Roar where he uses the moniker Johnno.
Awards And Achievements
Brad Johnson had several important career achievements that include:
• 1995 – Nominee for AFL Rising Star.
• 1998 – State of Origin (Victoria).
• 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2003 – Played in International Rules Series.
• 1999, 2002 and 2006 – Won the Best and Fairest Award.
• 2005-2007 – Leading goal kicker for Western Bulldogs.
• 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007 – Played for All-Australian Team.
• 2006 – He was the Captain for All-Australian Team.
• 2005-2006 – Acting Captain for Western Bulldogs.
• 2007-2010 – Captain for Western Bulldogs.
• He was a member of Western Bulldogs Team of the Century.
There is absolutely no doubt that Brad Johnson is one of the best Australian Rules football players of all time and his achievements are the screaming proof of his expertise in the game.