Former Geelong star Steve Johnson explains how he cheated on coach Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson to return a week before the 2007 club-imposed suspension.
Johnson was sacked from the club at the start of the season because of a series of off-field mistrusts that left his career in shambles and was really in balance.
After a few weeks of hard work turning his life around, Johnson told 3AW’s Footy: Then and now the podcast he thought he would try his luck during a meeting with Thompson before the club’s Round 6 clash with Richmond.
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“I was suspended for six weeks but we were two (winning) and three (losing) and I went to Bomber Thompson’s office and said ‘I think suspension says I can get back to Round 6’ and he said ‘yes, it Exactly (and) I was, “Johnson said.
He kicked two goals and disposed of 21 as the Cats beat the Tigers by 157 points.
Geelong did not lose until Round 21, when they were knocked out five points against the Cats at Port Adelaide Cardinia Park.
Despite the defeat, Johnson said the Cats were not the force they saw as their biggest threat to the finals that year.
“I thought it was Collingwood and the preliminary final probably spoke to it,” Johnson said.
“It was one of the best games in football I was involved in, the best environment I’ve ever played in – Collingwood, the prelim final, about 98,000 (fans) there at MCG and we were able to cross the line.
“I think that’s something that was very important to us as well – we had a really tough game the week before the grand final.
“Sometimes, you can play a simple kind of game and feel like you’re going to be better than you.
“They (Collingwood) really challenged us and I think they were probably the second best team that year.”
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Johnson’s thoughts were justified, as the Cats destroyed the power by a record 119 points in next week’s Grand Final.
In a remarkable release story, Johnson won the Norm Smith Medal as the best player on the ground that day.
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