Carlton Reserve Career: 1999.
Reserve Games: 2
Reserve Goals: 0
Height: 180cm (5'11")
Weight: 79kg (12.6)
Guernsey No. 53 (1999).
DOB: 5th April, 1981.
Ben Johnson played reserve grade football for Carlton in 1999. Johnson was also used as a top-up player for Richmond reserves in 1999.
Johnson was originally recruited from St Marys via TAC Cup team the Preston Knights.
He didn't play a senior game for Carlton.
Johnson was snapped up late in the 1999 AFL Draft, no.62 overall. He started his career with a bang, kicking 3 goals on debut for the Magpies, however, he settled as most first-year players and struggled to play-out in consistent fashion, being dropped mid-season. He established himself as a tough running half-back who could play a key tagging role on the last line of defence. He could find the ball and his kicking that looked ordinary, was efficient.
Johnson became a key player during the 2002 and 2003 Grand Final seasons. He finished top 6 in the best and fairest and was recognised as a top senior player wearing Gavin Brown's number 26. He had over 300 disposals in both the seasons, and played all 25 games in 2003 following 23 games in 2002.
In 2004 however, he had his best year. He was a regular best player in the side, and despite the Magpies loss in form, his increased. He once again played all possible games, and he averaged over 17 touches. He finished equal 2nd in the best and fairest behind winner James Clement by 5 votes, and also polled the most Brownlow Medal votes for the club, with 10. In 2005 he had an interrupted season, with injury concerns after a concussion mid-season, and also a rumoured dispute with coach Mick Malthouse. He only played 13 games, and ended a 77 consecutive games streak.
His 2006 season would be one of his best after a poor 2005, playing all 23 games, and providing great run out of the back line. His dash was recognised early during the year, as he would be at the top of the league in metres gained. Johnson would be awarded the ANZAC Day Medal for being best on ground in the match against Essendon, despite being called "Craig Johnson" by the announcer of the medallion. Johnson continued his form consistently through the season, giving him another second place in the Copeland Trophy and averaging more than 23 disposals.
In Round 20, 2007, Johnson received a six match suspension for making forceful front-on contact with Melbourne's Daniel Bell which ended his finals campaign. In 2010 Johnson played in the Collingwood premiership team that defeated St Klida.