Johno on playing and managing

Johno on playing and managing

By Jonathan Ervine
16 June
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Read first part of three-part interview


In the first of a three part series, Michael Johnston tells us about making the transition from playing to managing...

During this season, you've made the transition from being a player to being player manager. What's it been like?
I must admit, I was very nervous when first asked. I knew what a fantastic job Mel and Dyl had done so it was always going to be tough to continue or improve on that. I had spoken to a couple of friends who have made a very successful transition from playing to management and they gave some excellent advice. Once I get started, it was a whirlwind, you do not realise the amount of organising and preparation that needs to go into everything. I was put into lots of different WhatsApp groups such as the coaches, medical staff and board members which, at the time, was mind-blowing and I did find it really difficult to start off with.

As the time went on, I noticed the special people around me and how everyone, including the players, made the transition easier than I thought. I cannot thank them enough. The way in which the players have taken to me as the manager has been fantastic. Everything I have asked of them, they have done. From training to playing and understanding decisions that I have made regarding selections, they have been unbelievable and I could not have done it without them.

A special mention has to go to coaches Mel, Gaz, Aled, Merv and Chris who have supported every decision along the way and are always there to offer advice and guidance. Also, the medical staff, nothing is ever too much for them. They always make sure at least one is available for training and games and are willing to pull together when needed. All in all, I have really enjoyed it so far and hope I continue to do so.

Is there anything that's surprised you about being a manager?
Not really, the main thing has to be the impact that you can have on a player's performance. It is really interesting to see how players take on board what you say and try to implement it in their game. Even if it has been said in front of everyone in the dressing room or private chats, you can see that they are taking on board everything you are saying and really trying hard to put it into practice.

In the upcoming parts of the interview which will be online soon, Johno gives his overall views on the 2021-22 season and looks forward to Bangor 1876 being in tier 3 in the new season.

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