Scarborough Athletic man Jack Johnson talks goals, frustrations & promotion

Jack Johnson, right, celebrates promotion with Boro last season
Jack Johnson, right, celebrates promotion with Boro last season

With Scarborough Athletic's 1,000th league goal in touching distance, the hat of Jack Johnson has been thrown into the ring thanks to his predatory recent form.

But the 19-year-old is in no way focusing on that milestone because he is happy to tread that traditional line of doing his bit and helping the club he plays for.

Johnson in action for Boro

Johnson in action for Boro

This has shown during the current season for the full-back, who played 30 times last term in Boro's push to promotion from the Evo-Stik North.

A collar bone break, picked up just minutes into the first pre-season fixture, set him on the back foot and now he is waiting to take his chance from the Boro bench.

"I've been doing well in front of goal recently, I even scored a lob in training on Saturday," he joked.

"In my first season at the club I only scored one and that was when I was sent forward for a corner. Normally last season I was stuck at the back for corners with Mezza (Dave Merris).

"I've not played too much this season but I've already scored two, so I've showed that I can produce that bit of quality in front of goal.

"When I was at Halifax Under-19s I played at right-back, but I scored 14 goals, so my current return is a bit disappointing.

"I actually started as a centre forward, before moving into midfield and then further and further back. I'll probably end up in goal soon.

"I've seen the talk about this 1,000th goal and it is always about Wally (James Walshaw), Coulo (Michael Coulson) or Wayne (Brooksby). Obviously it will be nice to get it.

"It is a team game though, so it doesn't matter where it comes from, all that matters is the three points against Marine on Saturday."

Having felt the high of promotion last season, Johnson is currently experiencing a more frustrating period.

He added: "This season has been up and down, mainly down. You can't argue with the back four though because they have all done brilliantly.

"I just have to wait, keep sharp and take my chance when it comes.

"That was my first serious injury in pre-season, so it was a massive downer, but it was also a new experience for me.

"Parts of it were good because you can see how different teams set up when you are sitting there in the stand, but at the end of it, you just want to play.

"It is different when you are not in the starting 11, but you still have to prepare the same. It showed that at Farsley because Luke Dean came off early on.

"If you don't get yourself ready properly then you soon get found out when you come on.

"It has been a confidence boost for me that the gaffer (Steve Kittrick) has been using me ahead of some of the more experienced players on the bench,I'm helped by the fact that I can play in a variety of positions.

"When I was at Halifax the manager always went for experience and ignored the younger players, each to their own I suppose.

"The gaffer has shown that he will use both young players and the experienced ones, all you have to do is look at the game against Redcar when he gave a number of debuts out.

"I think things like that are a massive positive for the club."

Last season proved to be a huge learning curve both on and off the pitch for Johnson, who took some time to settle in a lively Evo-Stik North dressing room.

"It took a bit of time because I was young and I hadn't really experienced it too much before," he added.

"All the lads get on really well, there are no split groups or anything like that, which is good.

"Danny Stimpson always looked out for me, making me welcome, which helped a massive amount because you get some very big characters in dressing rooms.

"I'm bedded in quite well now and I have a lot of good mates in there, which helps you both on and off the park."

Having played a large part in a promotion season last time out, the full-back now has a taste for it, though he has underlined that stepping up again will be a big ask.

"Last season was a dream come true. It was my first taste of promotion because before that I'd only ever played in Under-19 leagues that you couldn't move up from," he said.

"This season is a lot tougher because there are no poor teams in this division and you could end up losing to one of the bottom teams if you don't play well.

"We are still top going into Saturday's game and we still have a small gap between us and Nantwich in second place, so we just have to keep producing the performances and picking up the points.

"I don't think anybody actually thought we'd be where we are right now because there are a lot of good teams like Warrington, South Shields and Farsley, who have been spending money.

"Realistically, we were looking at the play-offs, but we do have a lot of good players and most have them have been in the divisions above, so why not?

"We have shown that we can mix it with the top sides in the league like Gainsborough, but still we can't get ahead of ourselves.

"Playing in front of the fans is a massive help to us because their support really pushes you on and motivates you.

"As a player at this club, you just want to do well for the fans and the board, it is just a case of giving your bit back to them for backing us."