K rock Football

Johnson excited for new role

Brett Johnson has changed roles at Geelong. (Geelong Cats Image)

BRETT Johnson has set a goal of “sustained on-field success” for Geelong’s AFLW team after taking over as head of the program.

Johnson, who has spent the past two years as the Cats’ AFL performance and development manager, will have the wide-ranging title of Head of AFLW, Football Pathways and Player Development.

“I’ve got a huge amount of belief and confidence in the playing group that we have, and also having a good hand at the draft coming up in the next few weeks (October 6),” he said.

“I’m really excited about what we might be able to achieve, and my goal for the program is to achieve sustained on-field success.

“The players are really embracing that. I spoke to them on Thursday night and (they’re) excited by that challenge.

“It’s a tough competition; there’s always an opposition trying to stop you.

“But, we think we’ve got a good playing list together, and we’re going to be striving hard to put out some good performances next year.”

Johnson, whose role also encompasses VFL and VFLW player development, fills part of the position left vacant by the departure of Simone Bellears as part of COVID-19-related redundancies at the club.

“With the reduction in the soft cap, there were changes that needed to be made that we were forced into,” he said.

“There was an opportunity for me to pick up this role, and I’m really grateful and excited for the opportunity.

“I’d like to acknowledge Simone Bellears’ contribution and (former VFLW coach and AFLW assistant coach) Nat Wood’s contribution to the women’s program, particularly in establishing the women’s program at the club, and leaving the program in a really terrific place.”

Johnson, who played 80 AFL games during stints at Carlton and Hawthorn, spent eight years as General Manager of Player Development at the AFL Player’s Association.

“It’s an area I’m passionate about,” he said.

“Continuing to work in that area’s really great.”

Twitter: @tom_king79