Newcastle opted for co-captains this season, with Daniel Saifiti and Jayden Brailey sharing the relation aft Mitchell Pearce's abrupt resignation successful January.
Saifiti and Brailey were joined by 3 teammates: Ponga, Mitch Barnett and Blake Green to signifier a five-man "leadership group".
Johns, a two-time premiership victor with Newcastle, said it was clip for the Knights to marque their champion subordinate the club's sole captain.
"For me, Kalyn's the captain," helium told Wide World of Sports. "He's the astir high-profile guy."
"I recognize this twelvemonth successful meetings helium was a batch much vocal. He's marketable for the club, 9 retired of 10 kids accidental Kalyn's their favourite Knights player, truthful moving guardant helium should captain."
Johns besides urged the nine to ditch its "leadership group", suggesting that it tin pb to disorder and mixed messaging astatine times.
"I'm old-school. I privation 1 manager [and] I privation 1 connection from the coach," helium said. "I don't request 3 oregon 4 coaches telling maine what to do."
"One manager giving a elemental connection of what I person to do. And I request 1 skipper starring the team.
"I recognize it's travel [in] implicit the past mates of years, I deliberation it's primitively from the AFL, but astatine the extremity of the time the manager is the boss, what helium decides is gospel [and] you've got to travel it, and helium needs to beryllium backed up by his captain.
"You don't request a radical of 5 oregon six players talking implicit s--t successful a country trying to warrant the coach's decision, the manager is the 1 with his caput connected the enactment nether pressure.
"The coach's decision, whether it's close oregon wrong, is successful factual and you person to travel it."