FORMER Geelong champion Steve Johnson will continue his decorated career with Greater Western Sydney next year.
The Giants confirmed Johnson's arrival via a trade in a statement on Monday afternoon. He has signed a one-year playing deal, with a view to moving into coaching at the end of 2016.
Geelong will receive a 2016 fifth-round draft pick in return.
GWS coach Leon Cameron said Johnson's experience garnered throughout a a 253-game playing career at Geelong would be a valuable asset to the developing club.
"But first and foremost, he is an intense competitor and is extremely hungry for on-field success. He continues to have the highest of expectations when it comes to his on-field performance," Cameron said.
"Steve has agreed to a one-year playing contract and at the end of next season we’ll sit down with him and assess what opportunities are available at the club beyond 2016."
Johnson believed he was still capable of contributing at the top level, despite being moved on by the Cats at the end of the season.
"Everyone knows the Giants have an outstanding playing list and that was certainly a big influence on my decision to join them," Johnson said.
"But I've been impressed by a range of things at the Giants and in the end the decision was quite straight forward. I believe I still have a lot to offer as an AFL player and I wouldn't be continuing my playing career unless I thought I could make a difference."
The Brisbane Lions did look at picking up the three-time Geelong premiership star but list manager Peter Schwab said it became clear Johnson had chosen the Giants instead.
"(Lions coach) Justin (Leppitsch) had some conversations and I spoke to his management and expressed our interest but I think he's made that call and he’s going to GWS," Schwab told NAB AFL Trade Radio.
The 32-year-old started slowly in 2015 but picked up form as the season went on, kicking 30 goals in his 20 games. Johnson has also been mooted as a senior coach-in-waiting, hence his interest in moving into an assistant's role after his playing career is over.
The Lions previously had interest in Richmond defender David Astbury but he no longer looks likely to play at Brisbane next year.
The 24-year-old has battled injury throughout his career, including a dislocated right kneecap that ended his promising 2014 season, and being stung by a stingray earlier this year.
"Dave came up to see our facilities ... and we've had discussions with Dave and his management, but that's probably not going to happen, I would think, right at the moment," he said.
"I just think it's a combination of probably ourselves and Dave hasn't said he would come anyway. It's sort of just sat there now."
Schwab also ruled out any interest in Carlton's key forward Levi Casboult.
"No he won't be (at the Lions)," he said.
The Lions struggled this year without any dominant marking targets up forward and Casboult has a reputation as having one of the best pair of hands in the AFL.
He averaged slightly more than two contested marks per game to rank equal sixth in the competition with Collingwood's Travis Cloke.
Geelong forward Josh Walker will be at the club next year and his inclusion as a tall forward means the Brisbane Lions don't need another forward option.
They are likely to bring in Josh Schache with their No.2 pick in the NAB AFL Draft on November 27.