Crow favourite Graham Johncock retires

Graham Johncock has called time on a great career
Graham Johncock has called time on a great career

Adelaide veteran Graham Johncock has cited fatigue as his reason for quitting the AFL today.

The 227-game veteran shocked the Crows by calling an immediate end to his career, telling club officials today his body was failing him.

“Whilst we all wanted Graham’s career to last forever, we understand his observation that father time has told his body that enough is enough,” Adelaide’s general manager football administration Phil Harper said.

Johncock, who finished top five in Adelaide’s club champion award six times, made his name as a backman. But he struggled when played forward by second-year Brenton Sanderson.

The 30-year-old crowd favourite, who was recruited from Port Lincoln in 2001, will perform a lap of honour at Adelaide’s last home game this year on August 24.

Recruited with pick No.67 in the 2000 National Draft, Johncock is ranked ninth on the club’s all-time games leaderboard.

He is one of only 11 players to reach 200 games at the Crows, and is 11th in the Indigenous games record leaderboard.

Harper said Johncock’s contribution had been immense.

“Graham has been a wonderful player for our club. He has been with us for 13 seasons since 2001, when he joined us as a shy 18-year-old from Port Lincoln.

“Graham has shown his quality by finishing in the top five in our Club Champion award six times (2003-04-06-09-10-11), which is an amazing show of consistency and durability over a long period of time.

“Whilst we all wanted Graham’s career to last forever, we understand his observation that father time has told his body that enough is enough. We wish Graham, Jade and his girls Felicity and Nevaeh all the best in his retirement from AFL football.

“Members and supporters will be pleased to know that Graham has agreed to do a lap of honour at the final Crows home game at AAMI Stadium, against Melbourne on August 24.”

Johncock made his AFL debut against the Western Bulldogs in Round 1, 2002, and played all 25 games in his debut season.

He started his career as a clever small forward and kicked 30 of his 120 career goals in 2003, when he topped the Crows’ goalkicking. He kicked a personal-best six goals against St Kilda in Round 17, 2003.

He returned to the forward line in the latter stages of his decorated career, kicking a crucial goal in the Preliminary Final against Hawthorn last season.

But the popular Crows figure is best remembered for his smarts and rebounding ability in the backline, earning the reputation as one of the best small defenders in the modern era.

Regarded as a ‘big game’ player, Johncock played in 16 finals with Adelaide, including four Preliminary Finals.

The damaging utility was part of the club’s 2003 and 2012 pre-season premiership teams. He represented Australia in the 2006 International Rules series and was a member of the ‘Dream Team’ for the clash with Victoria in 2008.

Johncock has also pulled on the guernsey for the Indigenous All-Stars. He won the Showdown Medal for best on ground against Port Adelaide in 2005.

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