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globalrugbyleague - Mon, 24 Dec 2007 09:01:00 GMT
Looking back on the life of Andrew Johns one gets the impression he could've been good at anything he put his mind too. It's just that what mattered the most to the mind of 'Joey' was his football.

What makes the Johns story even more fascinating are the accounts of how he was told he'd never make it in the greatest game of all.

First there was his careers advisor, Mr Mate, who upon hearing of Joey's desire to play football, "looked" at the future NSW Blues captain and told him: "You've got no chance."

Then while playing in Harold Mathews there was also a belief amongst locals that he'd fall short of the first-grade dream in Sydney because he was 'just too small.'

Given the stunning turnaround in form which saw an aspirational thin kid from Cessknock become a two-time premiership winning halfback and three time Dally M Medal winner, it kind of makes you glad some some of the so-called 'experts' Johns dealt with on the sideline early in life stuck with their day jobs.

Though Johns admits the discovery of his battle with bipolar disorder prior to the publication was unfortunate (after being arrested for possession of an ecstacy tablet in London in late 2007), it's almost implausible to consider this boots 'n' all confessional anything but a form of soul searching.

Andrew Johns had he not been caught up in a controversy prior to the book's publication had no need to divulge both sides of his persona to a world that too often loves to use a critical set-piece play called "tall poppy syndrome."

His record on the field all by itself would have guaranteed this tale a massive volume of sales in book stores right across the country whilst there would've been massively reduced talking points for the media.

Joey at his own great expense borrowed the courage that served him well on the field to be honest in "The Two Of Me".

For some of his fans and admirers he is....too honest.

It's with great relief that some credible people are given the opportunity by Neil Cadigan to express insightful views that prevent this fine career being completely muckraked by the incident in London and the ensuing footy show confession.

Tributes come flowing in from a broad range of personalities including former Newcastle coach Michael Hagan, wannabee Johns coach and former Wallabies mentor, Eddie Jones, Dan Carter and NRL CEO David Gallop.

Nothing is hidden from view and no excuses are made.

Andrew Johns. A likeable rogue or a tragic genius? Decide for yourself by picking up a copy of The Two Of Me.

Review Grade: 7 balls out of 10

The Two Of Me by Andrew Johns with Neil Cadigan is published by Harper Collins and is available for $34.95 at all good leading book stores. Pick it up for Christmas or wait for the January sales. You may find a cheaper copy on Ebay too. Put simply, there are no excuses not to have this book on your shelf. - Read More, Here