Local product to lead Demons

Sammie Johnson during her Beaconsfield days. 172399 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Nick Creely

Beaconsfield product Samantha Johnson will captain the Casey Demons in the VFLW this season, with the club announcing its 2021 leadership group.

The former Eagle – who played in a local premiership with her club in 2017 – crossed over to the Demons from St Kilda where she was an AFLW listed player. She played one AFLW game for the Saints in 2020.

VFLW coach Peter Mercoulia had nothing but high regard and praise for Johnson, who is slotting in seamlessly amongst the playing group.

“’Sammie (Johnson) is super impressive,” he told the Melbourne Football Club website.

“She has naturally created relationships with the players over time, with leadership just coming naturally to her.

“Sammie’s training ethic and standards are something to be admired, and she will lead the club and really bring a hard edge to the role, which is something we needed coming from eighth position.

“Players like Sammie really set the standards, aiming for the highest level of achievement possible.”

Johnson’s deputy in 2021 leading the club is former Collingwood VFLW premiership co-captain, Grace Buchan.

Mercoulia said that Buchan adds an incredible amount of natural leadership, and is excited by what she can bring to the football program.

“Grace came to our club with unbelievable leadership qualities. To be a premiership captain at any club is a great achievement, and certainly gives her plenty of credentials,” he said.

“Having Grace there for Sammie will be great, as she will be able to mentor and teach along the way whilst letting Sammie continue to develop as the club’s captain.

“We’re very fortunate to have both girls as our captain and vice-captain, as we bring a new culture of winning, through hard work and dedication to the game.”

The selection process was voted on by everyone, players and staff, within the organisation on a two-vote and one-vote preferred system.

Both Johnson and Buchan will not go it alone with another four players to be added to the leadership group before the season commences.