Thanks Thanks:  9
Likes Likes:  17
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    39,992
    Post Thanks / Like

    Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen about his successful return to Western Bulldogs defence

    Western Bulldogs defender Jason Johannisen has gone from a ?p***** off? spectator to an integral part of one of the AFL?s best defences. He talks life and on and off the field with Mark Robinson.



    Of all the commentary this season, nothing has been more accurate, more concise and more loved than when Jason Johannisen’s fiancee was asked a question by roaming Brian Taylor to kick off round 6.

    The Bulldogs catapulted their season with a 49-point win on the road over Fremantle and a rejuvenated Johannisen had played superbly.

    In the rooms, BT spoke to Johannisen and then sidled up to Johannisen’s partner Logan Shine and asked her about her boy being played at halfback.

    “He didn’t win a Norm Smith playing forward, did he?” she said.

    Bang.

    She’d probably feel a touch uncomfortable by all this attention, but she shouldn’t. TV execs call it gold and viewers lapped up the honesty.

    “It was pretty funny,’’ Johannisen said.

    “Obviously she’s been a massive support for me. She was pretty embarrassed by that interview to be honest, she didn’t mean to be so blunt.

    “But at the end she’s just happy to see me play some good footy … yeah, I don’t think those words came cross exactly how she wanted.’’

    But it was the truth, yeah?

    “I probably played more influential games in the back half and over the past few weeks that’s where I’ve been playing my footy, I’ve picked up some good form and hope that continues,” he said.

    The Johannisen renaissance is a positive story among many as the Bulldogs have recovered from their 0-2 start to their season.

    It was about this time some media and fans were bewildered by the Bulldogs’ decision to reappoint Beveridge as coach for another three years.

    They’ve all pulled their heads in.

    The Bulldogs play embattled Carlton on Saturday night and a win would have them 6-3 after nine games.

    The return to halfback for Johannisen has reignited his career after injury and experimentation as a forward, and the positional move by Beveridge clearly has helped ignite his team.

    There’s a sense of familiarity and confidence when Johannisen, at his best and with space in front of him, bounds with the ball in hand. Because when “JJ’’ runs, everyone runs, and the Bulldogs like it when adventure is on the ball.

    Johannisen played forward in round 1 — a little underdone, he says, because of a calf complaint — was dropped for round 2 and returned for round 3 against Brisbane at Marvel, this time in his customary halfback role.

    It was a pivotal game for him and for Beveridge, who is the magnet-moving king of the competition.

    This day, he plonked Johannisen’s magnet beside Brisbane’s most frightening player, Charlie Cameron. And it worked. Cameron kicked one goal, JJ had 15 disposals and the Doggies won a must-win by 14 points.

    “He got a few marks on me early but full marks on the way our mids put pressure on, because the Lions didn’t get as many looks as they usually can,’’ Johannisen said.

    “He’s in red-hot form now Charlie.’’

    Johannisen’s return to defence came about by Beveridge’s decision to redeploy Caleb Daniel to the midfield. That’s also been a success. Daniel needed a change because his impact had diminished coming out of the D50 and his precision kicking via either foot has been welcomed as the Bulldogs looked to improve delivery into the F50.

    It left a defensive group containing Liam Jones, Alex Keith and Ryan Gardner as the talls, Taylor Duryea as the lockdown and a combo of Johannisen, Bailey Dale and the well-established Ed Richards as the rebounders.

    That group has been rock solid in the overall team defence. Since round 3, the Bulldogs are in the top five in all the critical defensive measures.

    Johannisen is blossoming after a stagnant 2022 season, which was ruined by back-to-back calf tears and a syndesmosis injury.

    Off the ground, his kids, Lola 3, and Ziggy, seven months, have levelled him out and he and Logan are getting married at the end of the year.

    “They have enhanced my life, that unconditional love,’’ he says.

    “My footy and life balance has shaped my life in a better way.’’

    Now 30, it was speculated at the end of last season that Johannisen was “considering his future’’ at the Bulldogs.

    “I wasn’t leaving,’’ he says.

    “It was a frustrating year purely because of injury and when you’re injured you’re just pissed off that you can’t help the team.’’

    Gold Coast had a nibble, Essendon had less of a nibble and the Giants were somewhere in between.

    “My manger (Tim Galic from Perth) told me to look at all options and with a young family now, he said to do what’s best for your family,” Johannisen said.

    He signed with the Dogs for two years.

    He couldn’t be happier, but it would be difficult to find a time when Johannisen wasn’t happy. South African-born and picked at No. 39 in the 2011 rookie draft, Bulldogs people will tell you that if there was an award for the Happiest Player of the Year, then Johannisen would have won it every year since.

    “I’m a positive-attitude sort of person,’’ he says.

    He wasn’t even unhappy when he was told by Beveridge to play small forward in 2021 and 2022, a position foreign to him.

    “It was extremely difficult,’’ he says. “I have such high respect for the elite small forwards like Charlie, and Tom Papley and Tyson Stengle, because to play at a consistent high level is difficult. I found that out. It doesn’t come naturally to play that position but I was willing to play any position for the team, to play any role, and I just tried my best.

    “Halfbacks are high possession getters and half-forwards don’t get as much ball. As a half-forward, you just have to have quality involvements and put as much pressure on the opposition as possible.

    “I did enjoy it, but I wish I was a bit more consistent playing that half-forward role’’.

    It was akin to asking a 1200m racehorse to do equestrian. In essence, use your speed but in a confined space and instead of jumps to conquer, try to win the ball amongst a bevy of players flooding back.

    Now, the racehorse is back at the track.

    Asked to pretend he was sports editor for the day, and what headline he’d put on this story, Johannisen said: Back to the Future.

    “Someone said it to me, I can’t remember who,’’ he says. “But yeah, it feels like it is. When you get the ball in the forward line you don’t have a lot of space, but at halfback you’ve got the whole field to play, and I think it works well to my strengths, which is use my legs, metres gained, kick it well and help my teammates.”.

    On a roll, what about a headline for your skipper Marcus Bontempelli?

    He says: Mr Inspirational.

    “I’d say he’s the GOAT,’’ he adds. “It’s something I can tell my kids when they grow up, that I played with Bont. We’ve played most of our career together and to have front-row seats is special.

    “As a captain, he’s unbelievable. He just doesn’t miss. He’s always searching for opportunities to socialise and get the group together when we can, and searching to be a better leader to help the footy club and help people. I can’t speak any highly of him.’’

    What about the coach?

    He wanted time to consider that headline and sent a text 10 minutes after this interview.

    “Mr Empowerment,’’ the text said.

    “He’s been massive. I can remember when Bevo first came in 2015 and he changed my game completely. My strengths are to try to keep the ball in my hands for longer, use my legs, but back then, I was trying to be more of a dour defender and stop my man.

    ‘Bevo knew my attributes and he wanted me to become a more attacking half-back flanker with the ability to defend as well. He instilled confidence and belief I could take my game to another level.

    “I’ve played some good footy (under him), but in recent times, I probably wasn’t playing to the best of my ability, yet the one thing Bevo never wavered was his faith and belief in me. Even when I was playing half-forward, in some games I felt I was nowhere and Bevo would always pick me up, and have a positive, even if it was ‘your pressure was really good tonight’’. He’s an unbelievable coach.’’

    The Carlton game will be his 184th for the red, white and blue, which is a sensational achievement for a rookie – drafted player. He says 2011 is a lifetime ago, as was winning the Norm Smith medal in the 2016 premiership win.

    ‘’I’m speechless to think how far I’ve come and there’s been a lot of people who have helped me on my journey, but, yeah, I didn’t think I would last this long.’’
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  2. Thanks The bulldog tragician, bornadog, jeemak, josie, Smads57 thanked for this post
    Likes MrMahatma, Stevo, WBFC4FFC liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5,525
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    Great piece by Robbo. Good to hear JJ in such a good headspace. Hopefully he can continue his recent form for the rest of the season.

  4. Likes BornInDroopSt'54 liked this post
  5. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    9,128
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    JJ is a legend. Amazing success story as a player and seems like a really sweet guy.
    - I'm a visionary - Only here to confirm my biases -

  6. Likes EasternWest, BornInDroopSt'54 liked this post
  7. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    West of somewhere.
    Posts
    6,319
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    This is what frustrates me about Robbo. He really does have the capacity to put out some great content - he finds unique angles and develops stories around them - but then defaults to being a boofhead when on radio/tv too often (some of his stuff remains great)...

    I guess you have to take the good with the bad but he is a frustratingly inconsistent journo.

    Nothing but love for JJ. I know I've told the story before but I coached against him in a grand final once and he was NOT amongst the 6 'oppo players to watch' in my preso...he was an afterthought. What he has achieved has been outstanding - he has come from SO FAR BACK it is incredible.
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

  8. Thanks Stevo, josie, Bulldog Revolution thanked for this post
  9. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Dogsville
    Posts
    12,867
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    He's a writer not a presenter full stop.

  10. Likes BornInDroopSt'54 liked this post
  11. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East of the West
    Posts
    9,340
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Days View Post
    JJ is a legend. Amazing success story as a player and seems like a really sweet guy.
    Seconded.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    Nothing but love for JJ. I know I've told the story before but I coached against him in a grand final once and he was NOT amongst the 6 'oppo players to watch' in my preso...he was an afterthought. What he has achieved has been outstanding - he has come from SO FAR BACK it is incredible.
    Love it.

    I've written him off a number of times but he's kept his head up (not sure the criticism of poster 388 on woof gets to him anyway) through form and positional issies and is playing good footy this year.

    I'm with you he's been a great player for our club and seems like a popular teammate.
    "It's over. It's all over."

  12. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Western Suburbs
    Posts
    6,041
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    Agree with above, it's a lovely piece of writing and JJ isn't a player most high-profile journos would think to profile.

    Really like what JJ brings to the side and he seems like a great person. Think he might be the kind of player we appreciate more when his career's done than we do while he's in it.

  13. Likes Bulldog Revolution liked this post
  14. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Doglands
    Posts
    39,992
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    This is what frustrates me about Robbo. He really does have the capacity to put out some great content - he finds unique angles and develops stories around them - but then defaults to being a boofhead when on radio/tv too often (some of his stuff remains great)...

    I guess you have to take the good with the bad but he is a frustratingly inconsistent journo.

    Nothing but love for JJ. I know I've told the story before but I coached against him in a grand final once and he was NOT amongst the 6 'oppo players to watch' in my preso...he was an afterthought. What he has achieved has been outstanding - he has come from SO FAR BACK it is incredible.
    It's about doing what he does best not what he thinks he needs to so he can get some attention.
    He shouldn't be on TV and it's questionable if he should be on the radio. As a senior journo though he's more than capable of doing a fine job.
    Western Bulldogs Football Club "Where it's cool to drool"

  15. Thanks Stevo thanked for this post
    Likes BornInDroopSt'54 liked this post
  16. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wherever the dogs are playing
    Posts
    61,707
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    Quote Originally Posted by 1eyedog View Post
    He's a writer not a presenter full stop.
    Correct. Because of him I don't watch AFL360
    FFC: Established 1883

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  17. Likes BornInDroopSt'54 liked this post
  18. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Frankston
    Posts
    4,696
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    JJ's nose on baby.
    Wife looks like Jerry Hall ..

  19. Likes josie liked this post
  20. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    10,457
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Mark Robinson speaks to Jason Johannisen

    Great to see him back playing so well at HB.

    It's been a bloody good career, nearing in on 200 games is a fantastic achievement.
    W00F!

  21. Likes josie liked this post

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •