Leaving Chester FC was one of the most complex decisions I have made, John Johnston said. He, 27 years old, from North Staffordshire, his native country, has joined Kidsgrove Athletic.
He drops two divisions to rejoin the team he last played for when he was a teenager. But he reluctantly has to depart Chester due to work obligations. So, he could give more time to his family and enjoy it.
Currently, Johnston is working as a football coach at the Andy Griffin Football Academy located in Stafford and Newcastle-under-Lyme College in his hometown.
He was missing or being late to training because of the increased workload at the expanding academy. In his opinion, that wasn’t fair to Chester and his mates (Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley), who were also his managers at Salford.
He stated: “Resigning was a major decision, which I had been pondering for a few weeks due to my work commitments as well as the lack of time my son and I spent together.
“I honestly had a difficult time making the decision. Jonno and Bern are both good friends of mine, and I just felt like I had hit the mark.
“I thought it wasn’t fair to keep showing up late to the other lads. I got along well with Jonno and Bern. However, there are times when it feels wrong to do it, even though that is a part-time job.
“They tried to retain me and asked if I could take a couple of weeks off and come back afterwards. However, I preferred to return to my local team instead. Fortunately, I was successful in communicating with Jonno and Bern.
“I had to pick between football and work. “I do love my job, but in the long term, it must be working.”
Several clubs also approached him. But as he promised, Chester will not face him this year.
He added: “I said I would not play for any other team in the league. Kidsgrove is the only club I would ever join.”
After signing from Altrincham in January 2020, just in time for two seasons affected by Covid restrictions, he leaves Chester with happy memories and some disappointment that he did not get to play more in front of Chester fans.
A highlight of his time at Chester was making a life-long friend in Jamie Morgan. He added: “I also enjoyed playing for Jonno and Bern again and playing with Chester. In addition to Altrincham, I have played for Chester, the biggest non-league clubs.”