He played Greg Inglis in an NRL commercial as a teenager before debuting alongside his idol in 2014 – but Alex Johnston’s dream of being a one club South Sydney player is now over.
A clearly shattered Alex Johnston has come to the realisation that his dream of being a one club South Sydney player is over.
And he is now officially on the lookout for a new NRL club for next year.
Adamant he was not angry but emotional, Johnston has been told that the Rabbitohs simply can’t afford to fit him in under their salary cap.
“I would have to say I am pretty upset,” Johnston said.
“I wanted to be a one club player. I grew up as a Souths junior (playing for La Perouse). It is all I wanted.
“But I have to face facts and face reality now. It is probably not going to happen. It looks like the way the salary cap is that Souths won’t retain me next year so I am going to have to look elsewhere.
“I am upset about that.”
But Johnston is also determined to go out with a bang at the Bunnies by chalking up one final milestone.
“I have scored 89 tries and I will try and crack 100 this year,” he said.
After that he wants to set about proving his best football is still to come.
Now 25, Johnston starred in an NRL commercial as a teenage boy playing the part of a young Greg Inglis, before debuting alongside the legend in 2014, the same year the Rabbitohs won the comp.
He then went on to play for Australia the following year and was be groomed to take over from Inglis as the club’s long-term fullback.
But the Bunnies’ backline stocks are chock full at the moment with the likes of Latrell Mitchell, Dane Gagai, Campbell Graham, Braidon Burns and James Roberts.
Johnston said he doesn’t have a preference if he plays on the wing or at fullback, he just wants to show that he can be a valuable member to any team.
“I’d like to think so,” he continued.
“I want to prove a point. I know what I can give.
“It would be good to get some interest from other clubs. I do understand at the end of the day I can’t fit under the salary cap and they are going to have to move me on.
“I am pretty upset by that but I have to face the facts. I am ready to get offers from wherever and whoever and go from there.
“I have a point to prove and I can contribute a lot to good teams. I want to win another comp as well.”
He said the fightback of the Morris brothers at the Roosters was also an inspiration to him.
“They have done everything in the game and they are still killing it,” he said.
He admitted the news he won’t be at Souths next year has been tough on his family, who are all Rabbitohs fans.
“Obviously it will be hard knowing how much the club meant to me and how hard it will be for me to move on,” he said.
“But wherever I am next they will definitely support.”