Gavin Johnson signs for Walsham-le-Willows

WALSHAM-le-Willows manager Paul Smith believes veteran defender Gavin Johnson’s return to the club will add even more quality to an his improving side.

The former Ipswich Town and Colchester United player, 41, has re-joined the Sumner Road outfit for a second spell, from Needham Market, having played there for a season during the 2010/11 season.

Walsham finished fifth bottom of the then-Ridgeons Premier Division last season but Johnson’s arrival should supplement a team that only lost four games between Christmas and the end of the campaign, according to Smith.

“Gavin will bring experience to the place which is important for a young side and hopefully we will conceded fewer goals with his arrival,” said Smith, who has resigned every member of last season’s squad.

“He can still do it, even though he is in his early forties, and he was voted players’ player of the year last season.

“The young lads will look up to him, he has played at a good level in the professional game and just having him in the changing room will give everyone a bit of a lift.

“He will be a good addition, especially as we only lost four games between Christmas and the end of the season. I have told the boys that, having kept them all together, we want to be finishing in the top ten.”

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While Smith is happy to have last season’s squad together, the Willows’ boss is keen to add further new faces to his squad ahead of the new campaign.

“We are looking for an attacking midfielder/forward and I am speaking to a couple of players, but they are on holiday at the moment so I can’t really say too much at the moment,” added the former Sudbury Town striker, who explained his reasoning behind an earlier start to pre-season training this summer.

“We got them in on June 2nd because myself and John Taylor (assistant manager) realised that we were struggling in the last 10 or 20 minutes of games during the first half of last season, and we put that down to match fitness.

“Hopefully we will be raring to go come the start of the new campaign.”

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