Veteran Graham Johncock has announced his retirement from AFL football, effective immediately, saying his battle-weary body can no longer withstand the rigours of AFL.
Recruited with pick No.67 in the 2000 National Draft, Johncock played 227 games for Adelaide, ranked ninth on the Club’s all-time games leaderboard. The 30-year-old from Port Lincoln is one of only 11 players to reach 200 games at the Crows, and is 11th in the Indigenous games record.
Johncock received Life Membership of the Adelaide Football Club in March, 2011.
Crows General Manager Football Administration Phil Harper said Johncock, who was unable to play in the SANFL last weekend because of a back injury, had been a wonderful servant of the Club.
“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,” Harper said.
“Graham has shown his quality by finishing in the top five in our Club Champion award six times (2003,2004, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011), 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 debut against the Western Bulldogs in Round One, 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 the topped the Club’s 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.
A model of consistency and durability in the prime of his career, Johncock finished third in the Crows Club Champion award in 2006 and 2011. He received the member’s player of the year in 2011, taking out the 19th Man award.
Regarded as a ‘big game’ player, he 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.