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Brad Johnson to play on with Bulldogs

By Sam Lienert 08/10/2009 06:40:01 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson will become the first player in the AFL club's history to reach the 350-game milestone after confirming he will play on next year.

The durable 33-year-old forward played all 25 games for the Dogs this season, taking him to a club record 349-match career total.

He is due to become just the 11th player in AFL/VFL history to reach 350 games in round one next season.

It will be the second time in three years Johnson has started a season with a milestone game, having played his 300th to open 2008, when he led the Bulldogs to a memorable three-point win over Adelaide.

The three-time best and fairest was fourth in the Bulldogs' count this year and football manager James Fantasia said he had a crucial role to play in 2010.

"Apart from his ability, Brad is just an exceptional character to have around the club.

"He is a fantastic mentor to our young players and a great leader on the ground," Fantasia said.

It continues the good news for the `Dogs, who on Tuesday signed ex-Sydney star forward Barry Hall and on Wednesday re-signed fullback Brian Lake on a four-year term.

"It is very exciting, I am obviously rapt to be playing on next year," Johnson said.

"The fact that Brian has recommitted to the club and with the inclusion of Barry Hall for the 2010 season, it's a fantastic time to be at the Western Bulldogs."

If Johnson stays fit, part way through next season he is due to become the most experienced player in the league's history not to have played in a grand final.

Johnson needs 17 more matches to draw level with the current holder of that unwanted title, former Bulldogs and Fitzroy superboot Bernie Quinlan.

The Bulldogs are yet to announce whether the club's next two oldest players, Nathan Eagleton, 30, and Jason Akermanis, 32, will be kept on for next season.

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