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Interviews

Mel Johnson speaks

28 July 2020

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Striker Mel Johnson is excited about her new challenge with the club after agreeing a deal ahead of the 2020/21 FA Women's Championship season.

Johnson's 12 goals saw her beaten only in the individual league rankings by United's own Katie Wilkinson, but her goals did help former club Aston Villa to promotion to the FA Women's Super League.

"I'm excited to be a part of the club," said the striker after joining the Blades. "I'm around some familiar faces and I want to help the team build on from last season.

"I'm here to work hard on and off the pitch and give my all to the club every game. I believe this is the best decision and the right path to begin a new journey."

Given Johnson's role in helping Villa win the Championship last season, her move is somewhat of a coup for the Blades but Johnson is convinced she's picked the right place to continue her career this season.

"I have a lot more to give and achieve and I feel I'm surrounded by the right people. The club's aspirations to succeed are exactly the same as mine, it's a strong team who work hard for each other. The club has shown interest in me over the past two seasons and have now strengthened the team tremendously since then."

Johnson is one of many players in the current Blades squad who now know what promotion from the division is like and what it takes to achieve, and a second consecutive promotion is all that's on the striker's mind ahead of the new season getting under way in September.

"The aim is back-to-back promotions now," said the 28-year-old. "Sheffield United as a club is determined, focussed and pushing for promotion which I'm hoping to achieve with this club. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."

Johnson's arrival as the club's first signing of the summer also offers up the tantalising prospect of the Blades being able to field the top three scorers from last season's Championship in the same starting eleven.

With Wilkinson winning the Golden Boot with 15 goals in 14 games, Johnson's 12 goal haul just beat winger Jade Pennock's tally of 11, but the trio should create a formidable attack for United this season, and Johnson can't wait to get going.

"I'm looking forward to linking up with Katie and Jade. They're good players, they create, score and are ruthless in and around the goal. I'm happy to be playing alongside them this season."

Johnson linked up with her new team mates last week for the team's initial return to individual Phase One training after a lengthy period away from Shirecliffe. Like everyone else, Johnson is grateful to be able to return after five months have passed since the last Championship match.

"It has been a long off-season but one that's been important for the safety of each other. I am enjoying being back on the training pitch and it's now about being prepared and ready for the season. I have been made to feel very welcome from everyone at the club and I can't wait to get going."


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