Why cheeky Stevie is as influential as ever

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AFL: GWS will enjoy their bye next week and they’ll do so sitting in the top four. Having missed a week with a foot complaint Steve Johnson was chomping at the bit in the first term.

Steve Johnson is in terrific form for the GWS Giants.

AGE certainly isn’t affecting Steve Johnson’s numbers on the footy field — nor is it hindering that trademark confidence.

In fact, GWS Giants teammate Jonathon Patton believes the superstar forward is as lippy as ever at training and during games.

But it’s a confidence that Johnson’s younger Giants teammates are thriving off this season.

The 32-year-old is in the middle of a stunning 2016 campaign. He’s already booted 23 goals from 13 games, while he’s also averaging 20 disposals per outing. He’s only been kept goalless on one occasion, proving how consistent he has been to date.

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But the sledging form of Johnson — the man who told Campbell Brown “I accept cash or credit” for the Stevie J show earlier this decade — is as sound as ever, according to Patton.

“He’s always telling stories about how good he was in grand finals and finals. He’s good value,” Patton told SEN on Sunday.

“Stevie brings humour to the game as well. He’ll kick a goal and ramble on about it for two minutes saying how good he is.”

Steve Johnson enjoyed this goal against old side Geelong at Simonds Stadium.Source:Getty Images

It’s that humour which is paying dividends for the Giants in a positive way, with Patton claiming Johnson “makes you a bit more relaxed” with his cheeky on-field attitude.

“His leadership has been amazing this year,” Patton said.

“Every day we speak to him and ask him about the finals games he has played and grand finals. Obviously he’s a Norm Smith medallist, so he performs very well on the big stage. Stevie’s such a footyhead. He just loves football.

“If we can go deep into finals, he’ll be the loudest one there and he’ll be taking all the boys under his wing.”

Patton said Johnson brings a “calmness” to the forward line group, while fellow premiership players Heath Shaw and Shane Mumford do the same down back and in the midfield respectively.

“It’s just those little things that you just can’t buy. We’re all getting there in terms of us (young) guys, but those guys have been there and done that we’re just learning off them,” Patton said.

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