They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
But as Jason Johannisen enters his 13th AFL pre-season, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Despite beginning his career as a dashing defender, Johannisen took on more of an attacking role in 2022.
And while he’s happy to be deployed on-field wherever needed, he said he’s looking forward to building on what he’s started.
“Small forward or half-forward is probably one of the hardest positions on the ground, because you’re not necessarily getting a lot of involvements, so the ones you do get, you really have to make sure are quality,” Johannisen told Fox Footy this week.
“There’s been a lot of learning curves – especially with patterns to run.
“My job is really to put on as much pressure as I can, and try to be that link-up player between the mids and forwards.”
It comes as the 30-year-old and 2016 Norm Smith Medallist eyes his 200th career game – a feat he’s likely to reach by the time his latest contract is up.
Johannisen penned a two-year extension at the end of last year, tying him to the Kennel until at least the end of 2024.
“I always wanted to stay at the Bulldogs. I’m so happy here,” he said.
“I’ve pretty much spent all of my adult life here, so I was just patient that a deal would get done.
“Obviously there was a bit of interest around, but at the end of the day I just couldn’t be more rapt to be here another two years.”
Johannisen has played 176 games in the red, white and blue since being taken with pick 39 in the 2011 Rookie Draft.