‘We can do something special’ at Town

ONE of the new men at the helm of Hucknall Town, Michael Johnson, has spent this week in Geneva, Switzerland, finishing his UEFA Pro Licence coaching course.

But he can’t wait to get back to begin work in his new job as director of football and vice-chairman of Hucknall Town.

“I’m excited about the prospect of taking Hucknall Town forward,” former Notts County defender Johnson said.

“I wouldn’t be coming on board unless I thought we could do something special here.”

Johnson (38) enjoyed a terrific professional career, making 561 appearances, including 262 at Birmingham City, whom he helped win promotion to the Premier League in 2002.

He started at Meadow Lane, where he made his debut as an 18-year-old in the 1991/92 season. Birmingham bought him for £230,000 at the end of the 1994/95 campaign when Notts were relegated to Division Two.

Johnson was hugely popular at St Andrew’s, where he was nicknamed ‘Magic’ after the American basketball player.

He joined Derby County on a free transfer in 2003 and was made captain of The Rams, for whom he played 138 times until returning to Notts County in 2008.

After the sacking of Ian McParland, Johnson had a brief spell as caretaker manager before the farcical reign of Sven Goran Eriksson, Hans Backe and Munto Finance almost brought the club to its knees.

Johnson is believed to have shown an interest in investing at Eastwood Town before they were bought for just £1 in the summer by former Yellows coach Jamie Brough.

However, despite Hucknall’s similarly precarious financial position, he is excited by the potential at Watnall Road, particularly with the move to a new stadium in the offing.

“First and foremost, the statement of intent is there,” Johnson said. “Steve Greaves is a successful businessman and Des Lyttle has played at the top level of English football and under some great managers.

“Hopefully, this will rub off on the fans, who will see a fresh impetus. We want it to be a club that is buzzing and has more connection with the community.”

As far as his own role is concerned, Johnson explained: “Steve will be the main person on the board but we will bounce ideas off each other.

“I will assist Des and offer a shoulder for him to lean on. I won’t interfere but I will offer an opinion and after every game, we will sit down and talk about how the football went.

“The last thing a manager wants is someone hovering above you, so we will work together as a partnership.

“With the network of contacts we have, which is quite vast, I am sure we can go and secure players.”