John­son holds key to glory

Townsville Bulletin - - NRL 2011 - by Michael Thompson michael. thompson@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

IT GOES with­out say­ing Dal­las John­son is a key man in the Cow­boys’ quest for suc­cess in 2011.

The Ather­ton-born tack­ling ma­chine ar­rived in North Queens­land last year af­ter field­ing a call from the Cow­boys while ply­ing his tough trade with French-based Su­per League out­fit Les Cata­lans.

As ev­ery footy fan knows there’s plenty more to the Dal­las John­son story than that, like 12 ap­pear­ances for Queens­land in State of Ori­gin and a cap play­ing for Aus­tralia against New Zealand in 2007.

He made his NRL de­but for the Mel­bourne Storm in 2003 and played a key part in the club’s suc­cesses, help­ing them to the 2006 mi­nor pre­mier­ship and grand fi­nal be­fore se­cur­ing the NRL ti­tle a year later.

That ti­tle was even­tu­ally stripped as part of the Storm’s in­fa­mous salary cap breach but John­son’s time at Mel­bourne with­out doubt proved he was a win­ner.

He made the tough de­ci­sion to leave Mel­bourne near the end of 2009 for the se­cu­rity of a long-term deal and the prospect of liv­ing with his fam­ily in an­other part of the world.

‘‘ My wife and I loved the place, I

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