I'm a stronger man: Dockers' Johnson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I'm a stronger man: Dockers' Johnson

By Chris Pike 16/08/2010 06:55:05 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle's Michael Johnson has spoken about how he has become a stronger person from his drug drama earlier this season as he prepares for his 100th AFL match.

Johnson will line-up for the Dockers against Hawthorn at Aurora Stadium to bring up his milestone after what he freely admits has been his toughest year since lobbing at Fremantle on the rookie-list in 2004.

The 25-year-old came through WAFL club Perth a highly-rated key position player and has been a quality utility since making his debut in 2005, but his world was rocked in May when he was caught with cocaine.

He subsequently pleaded guilty in court and served a club-imposed suspension, but has been back in the team since round 14 and feels that he has come out the other side a better person.

"It's easily the toughest season I've ever had down at the club with the incident off-field. I'm working hard with the club and my family, and I'd just like to thank the supporters out there who have given me a lot of encouragement and have been there to help me out," Johnson said.

"They've been great along the journey and hopefully this season can make me a better person so that I can look back on this year knowing I went through tough times not only for myself, but my missus and family. Hopefully I can become a better person and help other people out there."

Johnson was banished from the club for several weeks and was nervous about returning, but once he was welcomed by his teammates he felt a sense of relief.

"You don't know what was going through the other players' heads at that time and I was a senior player, and let the boys down. They've been a great support and it's awesome to feel wanted again," Johnson said.

"It's an on-going process and I think I've done a lot around the club since the incident, but I still have to earn my trust around the club. Hopefully the players have seen the difference in me and that I can keep improving on it."

Johnson isn't focused on his 100th game this Saturday, but on helping Fremantle win to secure a home final at Subiaco Oval.

A loss would leave the Dockers needing to beat Carlton in the last round to secure that or then face the prospect of a knockout final on the road.

"I've played Hawthorn twice over there and we were well beaten. We'll go over there confident that we can beat these guys and whoever gets picked for the team this week will have a fair crack," he said.

"Hopefully we can come away with a win and show our supporters that we are still in the hunt."

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