FC Halifax Town: “It feels like home for me” - Johnson eyes promotion after signing new deal with Shaymen

Sam Johnson says the Football League is the target over the next couple of seasons after signing a new two-year deal with FC Halifax Town.

By Tom Scargill
Thursday, 24th June 2021, 9:16 am
Halifax v Yeovil at The Shay, October 13, 2020. Photo: Marcus Branston. Sam Johnson
Halifax v Yeovil at The Shay, October 13, 2020. Photo: Marcus Branston. Sam Johnson

The goalkeeper enjoyed another good season at The Shay last term, playing every league game.

The 28-year-old had two loan spells with Town from Port Vale before joining permanently in 2017, and has been number one at the club ever since.

“It wasn’t really a hard sell, it was an easy decision to stay,” he said.

Sign up to our daily Halifax Courier Today newsletter

“It feels like home for me, I’ve always been made very welcome from the fans, I enjoy working with the staff, and the players.”

Johnson’s new deal was met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from Town supporters.

“It means a lot - it’s better than not being liked anyway!” he said.

“I think the difference you felt on the last day of the season, when the fans were there, was different class.”

Johnson has worked under Pete Wild, and assistant Chris Millington, longer than any other Town manager, and says they were a big part of why he wanted to stay.

“They’re two decent blokes, which makes it a bit easier when you’re considering your future,” he said.

“They’re new into the managerial world and they’ve worked hard to get there.

“From the project I’ve been told about, and from what I’ve seen over the last two years, you can see it moving forward on and off the pitch.

“I think the club’s progressing in a really good way under them, which was another one of the reasons it was an easy sell to me.

“I’ve said before, they’re two very down-to-earth guys and, you can’t promise results week in, week out, but you can promise you’ve got two guys there who are working incredibly hard.

“The detail they go into with the analysis and the information they give you before games, and after games, is second-to-none really since I’ve been playing football.

“You can go and talk to them about anything, and I think the football was better this year, so I’m looking forward to another year of that.”

Johnson has now reached 242 senior appearances for Town, and admits he has matured since first joining the club.

“I was probably a bit of a shy kid when I first came, I’d not played many games, didn’t do a lot of talking on and off the pitch probably,” he said.

“I think that’s got better, which just comes from being comfortable around everyone.

“I think I’m seen more as one of the senior players now, with 200-250 games under my belt, so I like to think I’ve come on a fair bit.

“And you realise what kind of player you are when you get to 26, 27, 28, so I know now what I need to be doing and how to get my body right for games.”

By the time his new deal expires, Johnson hopes to have secured that sought-after promotion with The Shaymen.

“I wouldn’t have signed if that wasn’t the project, I want to have a decent career and play in the Football League ” he said.

“And I can see Halifax being there. It’s a very good club, a well-run club, and that is realistically the aim.

“We can’t have two years like we’ve just had, of being play-off contenders, and then take a backward step, so that is the goal for the next two years.”