James A. Johnson’s Stab Punt


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To my knowledge, I am the first Australian Rules Football player to devise the Stab Punt.
I played from 1949 to 1960 in First XVIII teams in the Yarra Valley League, the Eastern Suburban Football League, the Mountain District Football Association and the Croydon Ferntree Gully Football League.

The Catalyst: Jack Dyer’s version of a Drop Punt. In 1948 sports pages in the Sporting Globe showed a series of pictures of Dyer demonstrating his drop punt, a kick he claimed was useful for kicking goals. He had copied it from a similar kick used by others since 1884, including the Collier brothers (Collingwood). Dyer admitted it was an awkward kick, at that time using an unorthodox way of holding and dropping the ball perpendicularly. The kick had a slow take-up by teams: Dyer himself attributed this to the failure of coaches to teach the kick to players because they themselves were unable to master the fundamentals of it. (Jack Dyer’s Football Clinic, 1965, p.167). Jack Dyer retired in 1949 and the drop punt fell into disuse, until mid-1960’s when Peter McKenna used a variation of it to great effect.
1948: Evolving the drop punt
At age 14 and a third Form student at Lilydale Higher Elementary School, I tried out the Jack Dyer kick and found it unsatisfactory. I said to myself: I must be able to get connection of boot and ball that will give the same result in the normal approach for kicking a drop kick and so revamped it into my own format. I kicked it at about the same distance from the ground as a normal drop kick, so making it into a field kick that could be used running at full pace in any weather or field conditions. I managed to do this with only kicks I won on the school ground, in what was called “kick-to-kick”. It took me around two months to master it with this very limited number of kicks per day and none at the weekend. I scrubbed the ball along the ground, kick after kick after kick, attempting nothing else until I succeeded.
My drop punt was easily mistaken visually for a drop kick: that is, kicked about the same distance from the ground as a real drop kick - not a ball kicked over a foot off the ground, as per Jack Dyer. I then practiced kicking the ball to favour a person at the other end in kick-to-kick at school so getting the knack of kicking accurately to the advantage of another player. In early to mid-season 1948 the explosive drive needed to kick a drop punt close to the ground (the ball on the way down, not on the way up) caused me to tear an upper front leg muscle (I think, the Vastus Intermedius). I still have an indentation on my leg from this injury. I continued to use the kick, at up to full speed in
Weekly inter-house short matches, plus one annual interschool game against Upwey High School.

1949: the stab punt invented
Aged 15 years, 5’ 2” tall, weighing 8 and 1/2 stone.
I played the first three games of my first season of open-age Australian Rules Football with the Mt Evelyn Second XVIII in the Yarra Valley Football League. Jack Dyer played in this league when he was a boy. I won the Mt Evelyn Second XVIII Second Best and Fairest trophy with these three games. The rest of the season I played in the First XVIII winning the Umpire’s vote, as best Mt Evelyn player, on three occasions. Early in the 1949 season because of the problem created by muddy grounds and uneven grassed surfaces, I declared to myself: ‘As I can kick a drop punt as a field pass, why not convert the stab kick into a stab punt, thus overcoming the ground conditions.’ Our father had purchased for his sons their first ever football, which meant that I could practice whenever I wanted to. It took me around two weeks to adjust the timing to kick the ball just before instead of just after it hit the ground. From then on I kicked a mere three drop kicks and no stab kicks in the rest of my eleven years of playing and the vast majority of my foot disposals being either drop punts or stab punts. I believe I am the first person to use the drop punt as a field pass kicked running at full pace, and to invent the stab punt. My kicks went slower than the “conventional” drop and stab kicks and were therefore more accurate in that my team-mate had more time to make marginal changes of direction to accept a pass. I also kicked the full longer drop punt to the advantage of a team-mate.

I could turn on to my left foot and had reasonable disposal with my left boot if needed (as I had practised to do so, on my Fathers’ advice, “Turn on your left foot and you leave a lot of players behind as most can only turn on one foot and most are right footers”). I could kick a drop punt pass with my left foot but not a stab punt. My left foot was nowhere near as good as my right and I only used it if I must.

1950:
Aged 16, I played the first three games with Ringwood Second XVIII in the Eastern Suburban
Football League. The rest of the season I played as First Rover for the First XVIII. I won the most
Improved player trophy for the First XVIII. Herbie Mathews (1940 Brownlow Medallist) was captain and coach of Ringwood this season and was 20 years my senior. In this year I won
School Colours for the Melbourne High First XVIII.

I played cricket in the summer months in open age competition from 1945/6 (aged 12 years) and won the Bowling Average for Mooroolbark in 1948-49 (my father was captain of this side and he won the Bowling in 1947-48). I also played First XI school cricket at Melbourne High and for Ringwood Cricket Club First XI in the summer of 1949-50(Ringwood won 6 consecutive A grade Premierships 1951/52 to 1956/57) before my first football season with Ringwood. I was invited to train at both Melbourne and Richmond Cricket Clubs in 1951. At age 18, I captained the Ringwood District Under-23 Cricket Team in January 1952. I won the Ringwood Cricket Club First XI bowling average in 1949/50, 1950/51 and in the 1959/60 season, average 8.96, when Ringwood won its first Turf A Grade Eastern Suburbs Cricket Association Premiership. Ringwood’s First XI did not win another Premiership between 1961 and 2008.

1951-1953:
For the seasons ’51, ’52 and 53 I played football and cricket for Ringwood. I was invited to train at Box Hill for the 1951 season, which was Box Hill’s first season in the VFA. I was also asked to train at Richmond AFL. Being a very one-eyed Collingwood supporter I said no to both. Ringwood’s colours were the same as Collingwood’s and I was quite happy playing there.

I requested that Ringwood play me on the wing, not as a rover because of minor health reasons. It was reported to me that Herbie Mathews passed the comment that he would never play me anywhere else but on the ball. Roving or Centre were my most team effective positions. I had a natural ability to read the play and so anticipate where the ball might be going. I won a lot of my kicks and did not just feed off team-mates.

1954:
In 1954 I was moved to work at the National Bank at Belgrave. I decided to play for “South Belgrave and Kalora Park Football Club” in The Mountain District Football Association.
In 1954, I played as First Rover and won the Runner-up Best and Fairest Trophy to Gerry Pennyfather. Gerry played for Dandenong for many years from 1955, represented in the VFA team on many occasions, was third in the VFA J.J. Liston Trophy in 1965 and is a member of Dandenong’s Team Of The Century. Gerry passed the comment to me at a South Belgrave Football Club Reunion in 1996 that he thought I was a perfectionist in my play.

1955-1956:
I won Best and Fairest for South Belgrave and Kalora Park Football Club for 1956 season. Once again I played as First Rover. During this time I was once again invited to train at the Box Hill Football Club and also Prahran in the VFA. After attending training at Prahran I was invited to sign and play but decided not to as I did not want to let my team-mates down at South Belgrave.

Post War M.D.F.A. Team
Mountain District Free Press, May 19, 1956, Sports page: Peter Linden, former Olinda player, names his Post War M.D.F.A. Team: I was chosen on the Wing by this older past-player.

1957:
I won the Runner-Up Best and Fairest, to Bill Sands who also won the competition Best and Fairest and was South Belgrave’s Captain and Coach. I was appointed Vice-Captain this season. At my suggestion to the South’s Selection Committee I was played in the Centre for the rest of the season. Small players were not “the norm” in the centre at this time but the selection committee accepted my recommendation as I told them I thought I could be more productive and would not waste energy having to chase ruck hit-outs up and down the ground. The opposition teams started to play their Rovers in the Centre to try to counter me. I was selected as First Rover for the Mountain District inter-competition side in this season.

1958:
In this year I played in the Centre for only half a season at South Belgrave Football Club as I was transferred away from Belgrave by the National Bank.

1959:
In this year I played baseball over the winter months in Ringwood First’s baseball team.

1960:
Aged 26 years, 5’ 6” tall, weighing 10 stone.
I came out of ‘retirement’ to play with some friends at Croydon Football Club. I was a member of the 1960 Croydon Premiership Team, captained & coached by Bob Greve (Collingwood 1955-59). Then I retired for the second and final time, having played eleven and a half seasons and missing only one game (that in 1960) through injury. According to local football journalists of the time I was considered ‘a very accurate pass’. I almost never missed my target, that is, kicking to the advantage of a teammate. I rarely kicked directly to the opposition.


Jack Dyer re the Drop Punt

George Goninon kicked 11 goals I behind with drop punts in the Semi Final against Collingwood in 1951. He only used the Drop Punt as a kick for Goal as per telephone conversation with Jim Feb 2010. Born Aug 1927 and came from Club Burnie in Tasmania in 1948. He was a phenomenally accurate kick for goal. George won the VFL goal kicking with 86 goals in 1951(11 goals ahead of John Coleman) He had a very free flowing style of kicking the ball and in my opinion was a much better kick than Jack Dyer.

Collier brothers, of Collingwood.”
Jack Dyer’s Footy Clinic page 165.
(“…I am given credit for developing the drop punt. I was the first to use it as a set kick but I picked up the idea from the Collier Brothers . They used a version of the kick for lobbing the ball over an opponent’s head whenever some one got between them. They used it to eliminate the hand pass. It was a clumsy kick but I realised its potential. because of their accuracy, and I set to work modifying the kick and developing it for distance. The Colliers used it solely as a 10 yard pass. I spent many a lonely hour in an assortment of paddocks working on the kick”.”) The Collier Brothers obviously did not think as a 15-year-old schoolkid did in 1949.

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Mt Evelyn Football Club Etc 1949
1949: the stab punt invented
Aged 15 years, 5’ 2” tall, weighing 8 and 1/2 stone.
I played the first three games of my first season of open-age Australian Rules Football with the Mt Evelyn Second XVIII in the Yarra Valley Football League. Jack Dyer played in this league when he was a boy. I won the Mt Evelyn Second XVIII Second Best and Fairest trophy with these three games. The rest of the season I played in the First XVIII winning the Umpire’s vote, as best Mt Evelyn player, on three occasions. Early in the 1949 season because of the problem created by muddy grounds and uneven grassed surfaces, I declared to myself: ‘As I can kick a drop punt as a field pass, why not convert the stab kick into a stab punt, thus overcoming the ground conditions.’ Our father had purchased for his sons their first ever football, which meant that I could practice whenever I wanted to. It took me around two weeks to adjust the timing to kick the ball just before instead of just after it hit the ground. From then on I kicked a mere three drop kicks and no stab kicks in the rest of my eleven years of playing and the vast majority of my foot disposals being either drop punts or stab punts. I believe I am the first person to use the drop punt as a field pass kicked running at full pace, and to invent the stab punt. My kicks went slower than the “conventional” drop and stab kicks and were therefore more accurate in that my team-mate had more time to make marginal changes of direction to accept a pass. I also kicked the full longer drop punt to the advantage of a team-mate.
I could turn on to my left foot and had reasonable disposal with my left boot if needed (as I had practised to do so, on my Fathers’ advice, “Turn on your left foot and you leave a lot of players behind as most can only turn on one foot and most are right footers”). I could kick a drop punt pass with my left foot but not a stab punt. My left foot was nowhere near as good as my right and I only used it if I must.
Stab kick is said to have been brought back from Tasmania in 1902 with the Collingwood Football
Team. Reverend A. Brown of South Melbourne of the early 1880s, claimed to have invented it.
(page 195 3AW Book of Footy Records) So from 1902, till 1949 no one did anything extra with the stab kick till Jim the 15-year-old school kid playing for the Mt Evelyn Football Club.
From age 10 to 14 years with only limited kicks gained in kick-to-kick at school by 1948 I learned to kick a stab kick, a drop kick, a torpedo punt, a flat punt and a drop punt used as a field pass.
At age 15, in 1949 and with my own football I invented the stab punt.
How far ahead of my time was I.
1949; Harold Maskell Mt Evelyn Coach told me. “ If you kick to a team mate that amounts to two kicks to you; if you kick to the opposition that’s minus one kick.” According to Harold 6 kicks to a team-mate amounted to twelve kicks to you. A good days work on the football ground. A kick direct to the opposition was minus one. He also told me to go with a bump and so be able to get up and contribute to my team rather than be carried off. Another item Harold told me that stuck was that if you were in the middle of a sandwich the only way out was up. I remembered this some 7 years later when this situation occurred and I jumped up and finished with my knees between two sets of shoulders. One player was about 14 stone and the other 18 stone.
He also said he would have me playing league football in two years. I played only one season at Mt Evelyn because of a move to live in Brighton and then Oakleigh.

1942 Kicking the ball I did not have!
I was embarrassed on a few occasions when I was around 9 years old in watching the big kids kick
the football (the primary school did not have a football at this time) in that my leg just came up
uncontrolled with their leg as they kicked the ball. I was kicking a ball, which was not there.
When the Primary kids did get a football the Headmaster took them to one side and all together and
said he was going to kick the ball and who ever got it would be the keeper of the ball. The ball was
kicked out in front to one side. One of the smallest kids got it and his name was Jim Johnson.
How proud was he!

People found it difficult to work out how I kicked the ball and I did not tell them as in my opinion I had the best disposal for all conditions in Australia. In recent years (2002) I asked Bob Grieve ex Collingwood star and Croydon’s 1960 Premiership Captain/Coach whether he new I was kicking the ball in 1960 the way they are kicking it today (c. 2002) and his reply was “I was only interested that you could do it, not how”

Re Training at Richmond 1950
I had said “no” when asked if I would like to train at Richmond. I was again approached by the same person at Ringwood and told it would only be for convenience as I was travelling to practice at Ringwood and then travelling home to Oakleigh. I thought that was a good idea. I attended training with the seconds and during circle work a ball was coming towards me. All I had to do was keep running looking back over my shoulder and I would mark it. Good except a “courageous” person came out of the darker centre of the ground, on my blind side, and took me out. I was not hurt as I saw the player in the last seconds and “went with it”. Graham Richmond came over to me while I was changing after training, and suggested I come back when I was bigger. I was one-eyed Collingwood and walked away from the ground saying to myself “ I wouldn’t play here if you paid me.” Anyway they looked at my skills so closely that they did not see, on Jack Dyers home ground, the class disposal that was in front of their eyes. Granted it was in very ordinary light and that in bright sunlight others had difficulty seeing how I was kicking the ball. But on the so-called “Home” of the drop punt????? But then around the same year they turned away Thorold Merrett.
Thorold Merrett; Stab kick expert. Collingwood 1950-60 is around one month younger than I Thorold Merrett’s approach to Jack Dyer, coach of Richmond, was rejected with a laugh. (The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers). At 9.5 stone Thorold was one of the smallest players in the League.

1949 I could turn (as I had practised to do so, on my Fathers’ advice, “ turn on your left foot and you leave a lot of players behind as most can only turn on one foot and most are right footers”) on to my left foot and had reasonable disposal with my left boot if needed. I could kick a drop punt pass with my left foot but not a stab punt. My left foot was nowhere near as good as my right and I only used it if I must.

1949 Just before half way thru the football season of 1949 James’s Mother and Father moved our family from the weather board house, out in the sticks, without electricity / sewerage and with tank water outside the house. You had to go outside to get a drink or fill the kettle. Basically, from grade 3 to form 3, it was shank’s pony to cover the 4-mile walk to school at Lilydale. It was a three-mile walk to Mt Evelyn, 2.5 miles to Mooroolbark or Montrose. My father walked to and from Mooroolbark when catching a train to and from where ever he was working in Melbourne. Carrying the groceries etc in a pram helped my mother’s shopping at Montrose. The car battery for the radio was carried to a bus stop and left on the side of the road and then picked up after being charged. The bus driver was paid next time we saw him. The ice, which was very cold to carry half a mile home, when it could be afforded was also ordered thru the bus driver, We moved to a rented bottom story of a furnishes mansion in Dudley Street Brighton Beach. It had a tennis court, a billiard table, and all mod cons. What a Difference! To play football at Mt Evelyn for the second half of the 1949 season I caught a tram from Brighton to St Kilda Railway Station, train to the City then Croydon, taxi to Mt Evelyn then bus to Marysville-Warburton, Powelltown, Healesville, Wandin etc then back to Mt Evelyn. My brother and I would then overnight at Montrose or Mt Evelyn. Football practice Sunday morning and then back to Brighton Sunday afternoon. I then travelled to and from school at Lilydale Monday thru Friday from Brighton for the rest of 1949 school year.
I was a House Captain this year. In the School Sports I won the 100 yards, the high jump (4foot 10 inches) with the old fashioned scissors jump) and second in the hop step and jump.

Living C1942-1949
Where we lived at Montrose?
We had plenty of grassed area on which to play. Dad dug clay and
made a dirt cricket pitch for us and we scrounged an old cricket mat to go on top of that from the
Mooroolbark Cricket Club.
We had tank water but you had to go out of the house to the tank to get it. No electricity or any
other services, fairly rugged you might say! But none the less we had a good time?
When living at Montrose, actually 2&1/2 miles out of Montrose, 4 Miles from Lilydale, 3 miles
from Mt Evelyn and 2&1/2 miles from Mooroolbark,) we would walk to matches and training about 2.5 miles and walk home after training on a Sunday.
When playing cricket for Mooroolbark. There was also a lot of walking done as our family
did not have a car. There was also a lot of walking to and from school to Lilydale for most of our
school days from grade 2 to form 3, 1941/1948.
When we went with our Mother to see Collingwood play (only at Vic Park) we walked to Mooroolbark to catch the train in and used to get to the ground early enough to have a seat on the boundary as in the outer there was only seating running around the fence. One day when there was a train strike we hitch hiked to get to Victoria Park.. We were brought up to be very one-eyed Collingwood supporters.
James found out in recent years from his Dad’s sister that his Dad played for Collingwood
Seconds.

1949. Harold Maskell re clicking ankles
Harold called James over during run thru passing at our Sunday Morning practice. James
thought he was going to query his disposal method but no he had heard his ankles clicking and told
him to bandage them which he did from then on. Harold did not pick his drop punt or stab punt as
not being a drop or a stab: No one at Mt Evelyn appeared to know what I was doing. James thought
as he had developed these kicks he had something no one else had.
James decided whenever he beat someone to the ball to never try to get away with to big a margin so that they would think they could catch him or beat him the next time without having to slow him down, and to never “show” the ball to any opposition player and so increase his chances of
keeping all his teeth.

Drinking; James decided he would not “Drink” when he was 15 and did not. Even now he only has
a glass of wine with a meal.

James’ mother walked to the Mooroolbark Station 2.5 miles to catch a train to the city. She used to
leave her walking shoes under the horse trough. OK except one of our dogs used to walk to the
station with her and would stay with the shoes until they were one way or another picked up. Mum
was asked by a horse person could she please leave them some where else as he could not get near
the horse trough to water his horse. Protector of the shoes.

James was given a pair of “hand me down” football boots (from a cousin) in grade 5 and he insisted he would have to wear them to school. He would not take his mothers advice and walked four miles to & from school boot stops and all, clunking around the schoolrooms wooden floors and running around at playtime. What a Day.
stab punt. There was only a split second of timing to adjust to make this happen. That is kick the ball just before it hit the ground instead of just after it hit the ground.

James played cricket for Ringwood for a number of years winning the bowling average in
(1950 & 51) seasons and his last (1960) season there. At South Belgrave Cricket Club he won the Batting, Bowling and Club Champion trophy in season 1954 -5. He was one of 6 players chosen to represent The Mountain District in a “Combined Mountain District and Fern Tree Gully” Country Week Team in1955.

Jack Dyer picked up the idea of the drop punt from Collingwood’s Collier Brothers. It was also
used by other players pre Dyer as early as 1884 (page 195 3AW Book of Footy Records)

The Stab kick is said to have been brought back from Tasmania in 1902 with the Collingwood Football team but Reverend A. Brown of South Melbourne of the early 1880s, claimed to have invented it. (page 195 3AW Book of Footy Records)

Roger Manfield centre half forward at Croydon in 1960 told Jim at a reunion in 2002 that the
centre half backs he played against would give up as soon as a pass was coming from Jim as they had no chance.

At a South Belgrave reunion in 96 James asked, Life Member Bobby Kirkland, who played some games at full forward, if he new how James was kicking the ball. Bob answered “yes” and that Jim made him look good.

James decided not to play dirty.
James retaliated in a Melbourne High v Swinbourne Tech match 1950. James elbowed a player, who had “hit” him earlier in the game, on the forehead. It was done as James ran past the player who was bending pick the ball up. He realised that if in the three inches movement of the elbow, which was not picked up by the umpire, he had made contact a couple of inches to one side it could have been very bad. Possibly hitting the temple. So James decided that was not the thing to do and he never hit anyone in an unfair manor again.


Some quotes about my game in the local press:

“The Post”, Thursday, June 2, 1960, p 12, Frank Casey, Croydon ends Mitcham’s run.
Newcomer, Jimmy Johnson, showed a tonne of pace and ability to accurately dispose of the ball on the run, at top speed. Johnson sent Croydon in again, found Espie.

“The Post”, Thursday, June 9, 1960, p 5. Frank Casey’s Snapshots:
Whilst on the subject of newcomers, players who will make their mark in the League are Barry Bennet former Footscray player . . . Another Jimmy Johnson transferred to Croydon promises to be one of the best if not the best winger in the competition. Ability to dispose accurately of the ball whilst in full stride makes Johnson a menace to all halfbacks.
It took a while for Frank Casey to work out I kicked the ball before it hit the ground. But he did!

“The Post” Thursday, June 9, 1960, p 15, Letters to the Editor: Praise for Frank Casey:
Sir,-- the write-up in the “Post” of the Mitcham v. Croydon game last week was one of the best ever. It’s good to read an unbiased opinion and an accurate write-up. Our thanks and best wishes to Frank Casey – Yours, etc., ROWLEY SEWART, Mitcham Football Club.

Roger Manfield centre half forward at Croydon in 1960 told me at a reunion in 2002 that the
centre halfbacks would give up as soon as a pass was coming from me to his lead, as “they had no
chance”.
p. 14, Game of the Day. Croydon v East Ringwood: Preview by Frank Casey
Centre Jacobson and newcomer Johnson can hold their own with any in the competition.

“The Mail” Thursday, June 30, 1960, Croydon v Surrey Hills by Adrian Laughlin
Wharton hand passed to Johnson – stab passed (Stab Punt) to Porter.
Wingman Johnson started a chain of passes. Johnson gained possession on the wing and stab (Stab Punt) passed to Manfield.

“Ringwood Mail”, Thursday July 7 1960, p19: Football club notes.
Bob Greve’s marking and general play throughout the game and Jimmy Johnson’s classy display of ball disposal.

“Ringwood Mail”, Thursday July 28 1960. Croydon Win Fiery Game
On a muddy, rain soaked ground, Croydon surprised Kilsyth with perfect teamwork and
fast play-on football to win a fiery, action-packed game by 33 pts. at Kilsyth last Saturday.
Johnson couldn’t manage to pick up the ball so he slipped his boot into it and kicked straight to
McCurdy who was tackled as he kicked and only a point resulted.”
Croydon swept the ball down to their end via Johnson to Jacobson – a hand pass back to Johnson who stab passed (Stab Punt) to Robert Espie.

This was my Stab Punt on a muddy rain-soaked ground. These were the conditions for which I “invented” the Stab Punt.
Johnson flashed into play again and coolly passed to Espie who gave a perfect lead and goaled.
Holyoak changed Baldwin on to Johnson, in an effort to stop his effective play.
(Baldwin played for Hawthorn, 1944-1950, 41 games)
Robert Espie had another opportunity when Johnson gave him an easy mark.
Best Players….Croydon: Johnson (best on ground)

September Finals 1960
“Football Record, Croydon Fern Tree Gully”, August 20, 1960, p 11:
Jimmy Johnson: Started with Mount Evelyn in 1949, Ringwood in 1950 and South Belgrave 1954
Jim won Best and Fairest South Belgrave 1956. Clever Wingman, very accurate pass.
(I was runner up Best & Fairest in both 1954 & 57 at South Belgrave.)


Today sees the finish of the 1960 season, possibly the wettest and muddiest ever!

” The Post” Thursday August 25, 1960. P12 Croydon V Mitcham ( Semi Final)
O’Brien in the rucks, Porter roving, Cowley in the centre, and Johnson on the wing starred all day for Croydon and despite inches of mud handled and passed the ball to position in a fashion that makes Croydon a threat to both Ringwood and East if they can reproduce the form they showed on Saturday.

Frank Casey and Davy Crockett together recognised how I was kicking the ball. It was a “stab punt,” that I had been kicking since early 1949 season. I was also kicking the longer and fuller drop punt as a field pass from mid-1948 as a14 year old third former at Lilydale Higher Elementary School. I never felt the need to use the drop punt to kick for goal.

“The Post”, Sept 1 1960. Preliminary Final at Croydon: A preview by Frank Casey
After a season in which drop kicks have been as rare as hen’s teeth, players are foolish to try
to develop the stab pass at this stage. East’s best last week was “Occa” McDonald and the duels
between him and Jimmy Johnson should provide the highlights.

“The Post”, September 8 1960, p.12. by Frank Casey.
Johnson, on the flank, was making good use of his accurate punt passes.
Johnson picked up on the run, sent a drop-punt direct to Espie for another goal.
Again, it was Johnson who sent Croydon in; his pass to Stevens was good.
Best Players: The whole of the team, with special mention for Stronix, Greve, Reid, Johnson, Jacobson, Cowley, Young.

Davy Crockett describing my Stab Punt as a Stab Kick - the lost art:
“The Mail”, Thursday Sept 8 1960, p 17. Stab Kicks by Davy Crockett
Johnson should write a book on stab kicking - he has found the lost art.

The “Post”, Frank Casey, 15 September 1960. Grand Final Croydon V Ringwood
…Johnson who sent his delightful little drop punt pass direct to Manfield (ex Collingwood Seconds)…
P 24. O’Brien marked on the wing, hand passed to Johnson, he accurately passed to Jacobson.

“The Mail”, Thursday, September 15, 1960. “Stab Kicks” Davy Crockett.
No doubt about Jimmy Johnson, he definitely has found the lost art of stab passing.