Dragon still breathing fire


Matt Johnston is piling on the middle order runs in Premier Cricket.
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Dragon still breathing fire
Matt Johnston is piling on the middle order runs in Premier Cricket. êêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêêê

Johnston has played every game this year, hammering 391 runs at an astonishing average of 98, including a hundred in round nine against Wanneroo, his 17th century. The captain has also managed 17 wickets at an average of 22, solidifying his place as the competition’s premiere all-round cricketer.

The Dragons stalwart has played at the club since his junior days and believes his game is still improving, with experience the key to his success.

“Being older now I know my game a bit better, I tend now to put less pressure on myself to perform,” he said.

“I guess this year has been reasonably similar to the past few seasons.”

Given the improvement of several young plays at the club, Johnston has been able to push himself down the order, a move that has paid dividends.

“I have been able to push myself down the order a bit more, with some of the younger blokes grabbing the opportunity to bat three or four,” he said.

“It has probably suited my game a bit more this year.”

Johnston believes Willetton is still in prime position to have success this season, with some important inclusions to enter the side in the coming weeks.

“We have had a disappointing few weeks losing our last three out of four, but we are still fifth,” he said.

“With the squad we’ve got and the availability of Hoggy (Brad Hogg), Mackin (Simon) and Bancroft (Cameron), we can hopefully make the six and then some inroads in the finals.”

The exciting inclusion of Yorkshire bowler Jack Brooks has also bolstered the squad, with the quick returning for a third stint.

“Brooks has been really good for us,” Johnston said.

“A few years ago he came over and took 30-odd wickets in six games, so hopefully he can do the same again this season.”

Johnston credits many people that have supported him both on and off the field during his career so far, with his current coach at the top of the list.

“Aaron Harwood has been good for my career, also Noddy Holder for a few years, who was brilliant as my batting coach. Mark Walsh is an ex-first grade Willetton cricketer and you can always throw ideas off him.

“The old man is always good to throw ideas at as well.”

The all-rounder doesn’t have any career goals now having turned 30, but team success and player development is certainly at the top of the agenda for Johnston.

“I am really happy to be playing cricket at the moment, I would obviously love to win a premiership,” he says.

“In my time at Willetton we’ve only won a one day flag but I would love to win a two day flag, that’s my goal.”