AFL

GWS thrilled with spark given by Steve Johnson

Prize GWS recruit and veteran forward Steve Johnson is already exerting a huge influence on his new colleagues.

Triple Geelong premiership player Johnson, 32, joined the Giants late last year following his release by the Cats after playing 253 games in 14 seasons.

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"Stevie has been terrific," Giants' co-captain Phil Davis said.

"He's come from a footy club that has had a huge amount of success over a long period of time and he's brought a wealth of knowledge over about individual talent and work and how to become a great player.

"Also about how a great team operates, so we've been very fortunate he's had a huge influence in the first few months he's been here and we look forward to that continuing in training and hopefully into games."

Key defender Davis is hoping for an overdue change in his fitness fortunes after three injury-riddled seasons.

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Since playing the full 22 games in the Giants' inaugural season in 2012, Davis has missed 30 of the past 66 matches over the last three campaigns, appearing in between 11 and 13 matches over each of those seasons.

"I haven't had a lot of luck," Davis said.

"I've had a lot of contact injuries which has been frustrating, getting myself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"But hopefully going into the next few years I can get a bit of continuity and not have such an up and down period in terms of injuries.

"I'm 25, so I still think I'm relatively young and hopefully I've got a few more good years left in me."

The Giants finished 11th in 2015 with a club-best 11-11 record and are expected to push for a maiden finals campaign this year.

Davis welcomed the anticipated increased scrutiny of the club as an indicator of their improvement.

"As you get better more people want to talk about you and discuss you and their expectations change as well," Davis said.

"But if you look at all the good clubs, they've always got high expectations.

"If people have got high expectations and they expect more from you, it generally means you are doing the right things."

He felt the Giants list had a good balance with 10 players having notched between 50 and 100 games, a sprinkling of players in their mid 20s, a handful of veterans and some draft picks from their academy.

"There's a huge next step ahead of us that we're looking forward to the challenge of," Davis said.

AAP

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