SUSPENDED Fremantle player Michael Johnson says he wants to become a better person, a better player and a better father to his two young children when he returns from a club-imposed six-week ban.

Johnson, who was charged by WA police on Tuesday with possessing cocaine, has been suspended from training with his teammates until May 31 and will not be available for AFL selection until round 14.

He has been fined a maximum $5000 by the club and broke his silence on Wednesday reading a prepared statement at Fremantle Oval.

“I would like to apologise to the AFL, the AFL Players Association, the Fremantle footy club, my teammates, Fremantle supporters, my family and friends,” Johnson said.

“I am very disappointed in my actions on the weekend and I am working through it with my legal team and the club.

“It has been a tough couple of days for me and my family. I would like to thank everyone out there who have sent their love and support. I really appreciate it.

“I know it is going to be a tough couple of weeks for me but hopefully I can come back to the footy club, become a better person, a better player and a better father to my children.”

Johnson has been stood down from the club’s leadership group after being handed the responsibility this season and captaining the club during the 2009 pre-season.

He was awarded Fremantle’s best clubman award last year and had emerged in 2010 as a crucial part of coach Mark Harvey’s structure, lending ruck support to Aaron Sandilands.

Johnson’s six-week ban covers five AFL matches and a bye, but he will be available for WAFL selection from June 21.
Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich, who joined Johnson at Fremantle Oval, addressed the player group on Wednesday morning to advise them of the club’s position.

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