In a sign that the New Zealand Warriors mean business and know how crucial he is to their side, the club have re-signed talented halfback Shaun Johnson on a new 3-year deal.
Not only has he re-signed with the club, Johnson has also been named captain of the Warriors Auckland Nines side, a double thrill for him moving forward.
With rival clubs after his signature, Johnson was excited at both the opportunity to continue playing for the Warriors and the chance to captain the club he loves.
â€œItâ€™s been a huge last few days sorting out my future as well as finding out Iâ€™ll be captaining the club at the very first Auckland Nines tournament,â€ he said.
â€œI canâ€™t say enough about the job Peter (Brown) and the Vodafone Warriors have done in putting together my new contract. I absolutely love being at this club, living in Auckland and being close to family and friends.
â€œWhen I signed my last contract, I said I wanted to repay everyone who has supported me and the same applies even more now.”
With family, friends, team-mates and the club all so important in Johnson’s career, he was quick to thank the work of the club and the coaching staff.
â€œThis club, the coaching staff and my team-mates have played a huge role in developing me while my family, friends and our members have given me fantastic support. I always want to give back to them,” said Johnson.
â€œThere was other interest but I love playing rugby league. Thereâ€™s so much to look forward to here as we look to grow and improve, and I want to be a part of that as we strive to win the clubâ€™s first NRL premiership.”
For Johnson, the opportunity to captain the Warriors Auckland Nines side is a tremendous honour.
â€œIâ€™m also massively excited about playing in the Nines and having the experience of leading the team in front of a full house at Eden Park plus our NRL games to follow there early in the season,” said Johnson.
Knowing full well what he is capable of, New Zealand Warriors coach Matt Elliott knew just how important it was for the club to retain Johnson.
â€œThe fact weâ€™ve extended the contract of one of the most sought-after players around in Shaun is enormously important for our club,â€ he said.
â€œIt speaks volumes for what weâ€™re seeking to build here, not just in the quality of players weâ€™re able to attract and retain but also in the way theyâ€™re helping to create the culture weâ€™re striving to develop and sustain.
â€œObviously Shaun is an exceptional football and athlete. Heâ€™s also represents the club well and is critical to where weâ€™re going this season and beyond.â€