Shaun Johnson breaks silence, takes aim at Warriors management

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
League,
Publish Date
Monday, 26 November 2018, 7:39PM
Shaun Johnson has spoken out about his future. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Shaun Johnson has spoken out about his future. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Shaun Johnson has broken his silence on the uncertainty around his future with the Warriors - taking aim at the club's management in a thinly veiled swipe on Facebook.

In the post, the mercurial playmaker wishes to "clear a couple things up" and confirms that at this stage, the club won't be offering him a new deal once his current contract expires next year.

As reported by the Herald last month, the Warriors have told the veteran halfback to test his value on the open market.

This comes after he signed a two-year deal - understood to be in excess of seven figures per year - in April last year.

In the Facebook post, Johnson confirms he is already exploring other options.

"Firstly there is no contract for me to sign past 2019. Secondly if you saw the article that came out a few weeks back. In a round about way they said they are in no rush to re sign me. Since then they have told me again at this stage they wont be offering me anything," Johnson posted.

"That means I get to spread my wings and see what's out there so right now that's what I'm doing!"

The 28-year-old, who has played 162 matches for the club, seems resigned to leaving MTtSmart Stadium.

"All of you know how much the warriors mean to me and how grateful I am for the opportunity they have given me to live my dreams and play the sport I love!

"Hope that clears up any confusion..tell ya friends so i stop getting asked the same questions."

Johnson recently returned from the United Kingdom with the Kiwis after a 2-1 series defeat to England.

He is believed to be on the radar of a number of NRL clubs, including the Canberra Raiders.

Consistency has eluded Johnson throughout his career and there remain doubts over whether he is the right man to steer the club to a historic first premiership win.

Mixed form from Johnson throughout the end of year tests did little to change that perception.

The Kiwis lost the series against England after going down narrowly in the first two tests in Hull and Liverpool, in which Johnson, playing at five-eighth, showed touches of class without nailing down an 80 minute performance.

However, he turned in a man of the match effort in the upset win over the Kangaroos in Auckland on October 14 and was a strong performer in Monday's impressive 34-0 rout in the third and final test against England at Leeds.

Retired North Queensland great Johnathan Thurston last week expressed surprise at the Warriors' decision, saying Johnson's potential exit would be a huge blow to the Auckland franchise.

"Certainly it would be a massive loss if he does explore his options and goes to another club," he told Radio Sport Breakfast.

"And if he goes to another club that have got a strong culture around him he could certainly soar to the heights that we all think that he can get to.

"And no doubt if he's at a club like the Roosters, for example, he could win a premiership there, if he's going to a club of that stature as well.

"It would be a massive loss for the Warriors if he does leave."

 

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