How Brian Taylor turned Brad Johnson into a forward

SEN - Tue, 18th Jun 2019 - 0 Comments

When discussing Levi Casboult’s successful move from attack to defence, former Western Bulldogs coach Terry Wallace revealed how he and Brian Taylor did something similar with club legend Brad Johnson.

Johnson finished his career as one of the most dangerous forwards in the AFL, kicking 42, 74, 59 and 50 goals between 2005 and 2008.

Wallace has explained how he gave the six-time All-Australian to then-forwards coach and current Channel Seven commentator Brian Taylor to turn the midfielder into a forward.

“Brad Johnson was every bit All-Australian as either a ruck rover or a wingman and he was going to have a career playing that role,” Wallace told SEN Afternoons.

“Us as team, we had Chris Grant as our key forward and we really didn’t have another established forward.

“We had guys like Paul Hudson who was brilliant, but we needed another go-to player to play at that end of the ground.

“The guy who everyone knows now as a commentator (Brian Taylor), was a brilliant coach.

“He used to look after our forwards. I basically gave him Brad over a summer and said can you adjust this guy and have a look at him to see if you can turn him into a forward.

“Again, the biggest key element was does Brad accept the challenge or does Brad buck the challenge.

“If he doesn’t accept the challenge, it’s not going to work. He accepted the challenge and I used to laugh when people late in his career said he’s selfish and went on for too long – he’s the least selfish player I ever coached.

“He gave up a whole career in one position to play a position that was completely foreign at the start and turned himself into almost a key position All-Australian.”