Anyone in the Rugby League World remembers this scandal. The scandal that brought the famous career of one of the codes most amazing players. Back in 2007 he was arrested in London for possession of ecstasy and it led to the start of a drug scandal that brought the Immortal’s career into disrepute.
After all the drama and media went out there Andrew Johns chose to be interviewed properly by one man, Phil ‘Gus’ Gould, on the Footy show because he trusted and respected Phil enough to conduct the interview correctly. In the very professional interview, Gus showed great interview techniques and let Andrew tell his story and try and basically save his career’s legacy.
In the interview it was quite clear that Gus had done his research, he also was a big fan of Johns’s career and was a friend, this led to a civilized conversation style interview between the 2. Gus kept eye contact and made Johns feel comfortable during the interview and was able to get the big story that Johns had been taking ecstasy during his playing career. This is big in a world like Rugby League that always has random drug scanning going on at all times. Gould’s way of keeping the questions coming and using what Johns was saying to form his interview was also good. I know good interviewers ask the tough questions but great interviewers can improvise and still ask the tough questions. A prime example in this clip is when Johns admitted to taking Recreational drugs and Gus Immediately jumping in and asking how long had he been doing it and why.
Gus also reaffirmed with Johns how serious the charges are against him. He talked as though it could destroy his amazing career which had only ended 4 months prior to this. The fact Johns was to be considered in the next vote for the games next Immortal (which he still won) and how this could destroy his claim. Gus felt it was an injustice to his career and he seemed to be really good at indirectly telling Johns this fact. Saying stuff like ” People won’t wear this,” for John’s excuses helped cement it into Johns how much of a mistake he had made. The best thing he did was bring out the emotion in Johns, during the interview you could tell Johns wasn’t the Andrew Johns the kids looked up to and the world class champion League player he is known as. In the interview he was very sad and knew how much he had messed up. Gus drew on personal experiences with Johns like the 2003 story of Johns feeling the pressure and wanting out which brought Johns down even more.
Overall this interview which might have made or broke Andrew Johns career was probably one of the best interviews Phil Gould has ever conducted. Gus was only ever brought in to tackle the hard issues of Rugby League and this one in particular he shoulder charged into the ground and it didn’t get back up. After the interview and the media went away, Johns came back clean and sober and is still around today on the NRL coverage on channel 9.