Much loved defender Alex Johnson set to play in Swans Demons NEAFL match

After ten operations, five knee reconstructions, almost five years without a senior AFL game and 1736 days on the sidelines, Alex Johnson will line up for the Sydney Swans NEAFL side in Saturday's clash with the Canberra Demons at Manuka Oval.

The tough, courageous and resilient 25-year-old defender, just a few words that describe the much-loved defender, he's had to overcome infections and a myriad of set backs along the way.

“It is just something within me that I have been able to keep positive and keep everything in perspective,” Johnson said.

“There are a lot of people a lot worse off than me in the world and I have still had a really good job over the last few years where I come to work with really good people and keep fit for a living.

“I have always had that goal of returning to the field and that is what I want to achieve.”

The Swans drafted the defender with pick 57 in the 2010 AFL Draft and he instantly impressed in his first pre-season with the Swans, earning his debut in round 3, 2011.

He quickly emerged as a reliable, rebounding defender and just 44 games after making his debut, he was a member of the Swans 2012 premiership side.

Johnson's story is one of courage, toughness, resilience and persistence, as he strives to become the first player to return to AFL football after five knee reconstructions on the same knee.

“I haven’t seen anything quite like Alex’s journey – he’s had five knee reconstructions and some pretty down times,” Longmire said.

“Sitting down with him and seeing him a couple of times with the infections he’s had in his knee, and what that’s done to him not only in a football sense but more in a human sense, has been really heartbreaking, but also inspiring in the way he’s been able to deal with it.

“His mental resilience is as strong as I’ve ever seen and his ability to put the setbacks to one side and keep concentrating on the future has been at an incredibly high level.”

The Sydney Swans and Canberra Demons NEAFL match will be played at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on Saturday, July 1 at 12pm.

dismiss x

2018 Player Sponsorship Program

The Swans Blog is delighted to be a 2018 Sydney Swans Redback member. While we're delighted to be members ourselves in such a prestigious, respected and loved club, we're extending the opportunity to you, followers and readers of The Swans Blog, to share in our experience and to become a membership with us.

We've already purchased the membership, and now we're looking for 24 supporters, followers and readers, to join us on our 2018 maiden journey. You'll share the excitement of the Sydney Swans journey, participate in match functions, have your say in who we nominate, as well as the football tips.

Best of all, if the Swans make it to the Grand Final in 2018, you could be the one representing us!

Interested? Let us know!.

dismiss x

Since you're here...

... we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading The Swans Blog than ever, but we don't accept advertising, and don't want to do so in the future. Unlike many other news and media organisations, fan forums and fan media, we haven't put up a paywall, or displayed ads - we want to keep our content as open as possible.

The Swans Blog is an independent fan blog and community platform. Our content takes a lot of time and hard work to produce. We do it because we love what we do and we believe our perspective matters - because it may be your perspective too.

If everyone who reads our blog, who likes it, is supporting it, our future would be much more secure.

Make a one-off contribution →

Want instant access to the latest blog and news content from The Swans Blog?
Download our Android App from Google Play today.

Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

Subscribe to The Swans Blog

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox.

or subscribe via RSS with Feedly!