Wangaratta keen for retired AFL star Steve Johnson to return to Norm Minns Oval

Steve Johnson was the Ovens and Murray's
guest speaker at the 2015 grand final.
Steve Johnson was the Ovens and Murray's guest speaker at the 2015 grand final.

You can be assured it’s on our radar. I’m sure he would love to play if he could

Col McClounan

WANGARATTA wants Steve Johnson to make a one-off appearance at Norm Minns Oval next season.

With the recently-retired Johnson joining the Sydney Swans as an assistant-coach, Magpie officials are sweating on the AFL and Ovens and Murray fixtures to find a potentially suitable date.

Col McClounan

Col McClounan

“He’s in our thoughts for sure,” Wangaratta president Col McClounan said.

“We are looking a bit at draws but it’s early days yet.

“You can be assured it’s on our radar.

“We would love it to happen, but there are a few challenges.

“I’m sure he would love to play if he could.”

Reigning premier Wangaratta lodged its fixture requests to the Ovens and Murray last week with an early-season night match high on its list of priorities.

The Magpies hosted a Good Friday match this year.

Johnson retired after 293 games and 516 goals at the end of GWS’s finals campaign with the Swans wasting little time snapping up one of the sharpest football minds in the AFL.

He has signed a three-year deal as one of John Longmire’s assistant-coaches.

Johnson, 34, also had offers to join Melbourne clubs.

The star forward played in three Geelong premierships, won the Norm Smith Medal and was named in the All-Australian side on three occasions.

He last played senior football for Wangaratta in 2001 and was selected by Geelong with pick 24 in the AFL draft.