Steve Johnson’s illustrious AFL career has ended on a sour note with a listless and losing preliminary final performance.
There’s no doubt Johnson will be remembered for his premiership-winning heroics at Geelong, and not for his two-season cameo with Greater Western Sydney.
And for that, Johnson should be thankful given his role in the Giants’ 36-point loss to Richmond on Saturday night.
Johnson kicked six goals in their semi-final win over West Coast last weekend but failed to trouble the goal umpire at the MCG.
He did give the field umpires plenty to consider.
The 34-year-old tumble-turned with Alex Rance, throwing the defender to the ground to give away a free kick in the first term.
As the Giants struggled to stem the Tigers’ tide in the third quarter, Johnson looked lost in front of goal.
Marking around 40 metres out with little angle, he handed off to Nathan Wilson who kicked out on the full.
Shortly after, the 2007 Norm Smith Medallist had the ball on the boundary line 60 metres from goal and stabbed inwards – turning the ball over and starting a Richmond attack.
Thankfully, the 293-gamer won’t have to review his part in the match given his pre-announced retirement.
“I was pretty quiet,” Johnson conceded after his 15-disposal game.
“You always want to have a bit more influence.
“On reflection I’m disappointed as a team we couldn’t get the job done. I’m not too worried about my own performance.”
Johnson shared tears with his family in the Giants locker room at the MCG after the match.
“I just love playing footy and today’s the end,” he said.
“They give you great support over the year.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate that my family’s been to just about every game in 16 years.
“I need to go and help console them and help them console me.”