Johnson bids farewell to Hitchin Town as goalkeeper joins Braintree

PUBLISHED: 10:54 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:54 17 June 2019

Hitchin Town Goalkeeper Michael Johnson during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

Hitchin Town Goalkeeper Michael Johnson during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

©2018 Archant

Michael Johnson has bid an emotional farewell to Hitchin Town after the goalkeeper signed for National League South side Braintree Town.

Hitchin Town Goalkeeper Michael Johnson during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTHHitchin Town Goalkeeper Michael Johnson during the FA Cup 1st round match at Top Field. Picture: MARTYN HAWORTH

Johnson joined the Canaries from Stotfold in 2014, and went on to make 184 appearances for the club before his move to Braintree was confirmed last Thursday.

It's an emotional departure for the shot stopper, who told CometSport: "My first emotion is sadness, I'm going to miss everything about the club.

"From the people who help run the club to all the boys, they made it like a second home to me.

"Some of the boys and management I've been with for five years so it's a lot to leave behind, but something I felt I needed to do.

"It's my hometown club so it means a lot and will always mean a lot. The club took a chance on me five years ago and hopefully I've repaid that over the years."

Johnson has been a key figure at Top Field since his arrival, saving a penalty against Leatherhead to send Hitchin into the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in 23 years last season.

The penalty shootout win against Methyr Town in the 2016-17 play-off semi-final ranks as his favourite moment though.

"We basically defended for about 85 minutes and I played arguably my best game," said Johnson.

"It was an intense night with a hostile crowd and something I will never forget."

He was quick to thank the club adding: "I would like to thank Mark Burke and Adam Parker, they've been great to me over the years and kept faith in me when things weren't going so well.

"Thank you to all the volunteers, groundsmen, the board and committee members for what they do as it doesn't go unnoticed.

"I want to thank the fans for following us and myself on an amazing journey and of course, the players past and present."

The step up to Braintree and National League South is one that Johnson is relishing and he is eye a successful first season at Cressing Road.

"I'm feeling confident and ready for the challenge," he said.

"It's something I've always wanted to do and my ambitious side says I'm not done yet.

"I'm hope for a strong first season in National League football and many more successful seasons to come."

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