Things can change pretty quickly in non-league football! Scott Johnston departed neighbors Hythe & Dibden as first-team manager (as well as holding multiple off-field roles at the club including club treasurer) which had a number of his friends in the Oilers backroom staff scrambling for their phones to see if he was interested in switching green for blue further down the Waterside.
Luckily for us he was delighted to join the backroom and will provide support for Aaron Fry and Darren Sayer in the first team as well as taking on a number of roles behind the scenes utilizing his wide-remit and sought-after skills in running a wessex league football club.
We caught up with Scott who had this to say of the move to Fawley AFC:
A chance to reflect on your time at neighbors Hythe which included a new home ground at Clayfields, and progression on a personal level through to first team manager - surely you'll look back on this period with pride and satisfaction?
"I'll certainly have a place for Hythe in my heart. I've made good friends there and created some of the best football memories I have. The first two years were all about success on the pitch and the last two more so off it. I'm lucky to have learned so much under Lee Burch in the first two years and then given a chance to put that into practice. Working with Dave Cox was a pleasure and I've picked up good habits on running a local team. He's a top chairman and deserves success at that club one day. I have a new adventure ahead of me now and an opportunity to make new memories."
"I had some interesting offers, but when Fawley came into the picture it was easy."
As soon as your availability was made public the Fawley hierarchy were quick to express their interest - did you take much convincing and are you excited for what the remainder of the season has in store?
"I had some interesting offers, but when Fawley came into the picture it was easy. The clubs on my door step, I have friends here and there's room for me here to come in and help in several areas. There's a big challenge here to stay in the Wessex Premier Division and then there's the usual every day struggles non league clubs have. I've learned that hard work is the base for everything that is beautiful in football. I never complain about problems, I simply find the solution as fast as I can. I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in this week."
"I've learned that hard work is the base for everything that is beautiful in football"
Aside from the 90 minutes of football on a Saturday you've dealt with all areas of H&D, which bits do you enjoy the most (and least?!)
"Aside from the football... I'd say designing the programmes was most enjoyable because you get to be creative. I really don't like the ground grading side of things, but that's probably because of the whole move situation. Felt like something had to be done every week."
You were at the game on Saturday against Team Solent where we eventually succumbed to a 4 v 1 defeat, making it no wins in the last four league games. What were your thoughts?
"Unfortunately this season some players have moved on and others are suffering from injuries or work commitments. I already knew Team Solent were a strong side and that we were stretched. There was a spell at 2-1 when we had some momentum and looking like levelling things up. Then when Solent scored the third goal it knocked the stuffing out the lads. To be fair in this current run of games we've faced some good sides. Where as before we have already beaten teams around us, which is important."
First chance to introduce yourself to the lads at training tonight (Wednesday) under slightly unusual circumstances with portable floodlights being supplied by Phoneix Sporting Goods. Looking forward to getting started?
"I can't wait to get started and settle into the club. I know most of the players here already and even worked with some. There's so much to do and talk about I've got no idea whether I'll on the pitch or in an office of some sort Wednesday!"
Alresford away saturday will be another game where the lads need to show some metal! Potential to pick up some points on the road?
"It's important you approach every match believing you can win it, but make no mistake Alresford are in a false position. They've not played many league games and i fully expect them to climb up the table. We'll go there looking to give it everything we have. To be industrious all over the pitch and keep going until that final whistle. That's always been the Fawley way and we need to rediscover that quickly."
Thanks Scott, and welcome aboard!