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Johnstone – We have to go from strength to strength

We caught up with assistant coach Paul Johnstone ahead of the Clever Boys first Absa Premiership clash on Friday, the 18th of August against Cape Town City FC.

Johnstone a footballer at heart played for his last PSL football club at yours truly under Coach Rodger De Sa.

“I then returned to the U.K where I am originally from. By chance, I met up with my old coach while I was in the fitness and training industry and he asked me to join the club again not as a player but as a fitness coach. I trained the Clever Boys in all fitness aspects for the first season.”

Having played and being a student of the beautiful game and always looking to expand his knowledge Paul Johnstone was appointed as the assistant coach after De Sa’s departure in 2012.

At Bidvest Wits, we always motivate our players to think about careers after they hang up their boots and Johnstone is a testament to this.

“I knew that playing in South African football wasn’t going to make the money that I would need when I had completed my career to retire. I had to do something post football, so I did all my personal training and sports science diploma’s while I was still playing. I even started personal training in my last season of playing. Back then we used to train in the afternoons and that gave me the opportunity to have clients in the morning. There has always been a close affiliation with health, fitness and sports. As a personal trainer, you are training people and groups – it kind of went hand in hand with me essentially coming back into the game which I have grown up with having turned pro at the age go 16 in the UK”.

Growing up in the football world Paul gained many learning’s from the previous coaches he trained under.

“As a player, you pick up things every day from your coaches, some things you take with you that are massively beneficial while others you discard but you are always learning. I always felt that every day was a learning opportunity. Even now under Gavin Hunt, every day is an opportunity to learn.”

This is the first season the Braamfontein outfit are starting the season off defending the League title. Football is not only a physical sport it’s about your mental strength too. Having a winning mentality is something you have to build on day-by-day, week-by-week and month-by-month.

“I think where we have come short in previous seasons is not having the actual belief that we can go out there and win the title and we proved it last season, that we can and we did. Winning the MTN8 and the league is huge for the club. Now we have to go from strength to strength and try and do it again. There is certainly a lot more belief around the club and we have to go out there and do it – there is no other option.”