Finlay Johnson

Off the post spoke to Chalfont St Peter manager Finlay Johnson who joined the club in the summer.

Your team, Chalfont St Peter currently sit in 7th in the table, what were your pre-season aims for the club?

We actually had a sports psychologist in and worked on goal setting, the players wanted play offs, so that’s what we’re striving for. I believe targets and standards are best set from within.

You previously have managed Hendon U23’s and Codicote, how excited are you by the challenge at Chalfont?

Incredibly excited, I’m very grateful to the chairman for the opportunity. My staff and I are confident we’ll repay the faith shown in appointing such a young group.

What are your ambitions as manager?

To go as far up the ladder as I can, have to be honest, I’m young, loads still to learn, but like anybody I have dreams of managing at the higher levels of the pyramid.

Who has been the best player you have coached?

Not including players I coached in academy football…..  Max Kilman- From University of Hertfordshire to Wolves! Made his Premier League debut recently. Left Footed CB, England Futsal player. 

What player have you most admired during this season so far?

Gianni Crichlow at Hanwell, in my opinion he should be playing way above the level. Know his personally from my Hendon days and he’s a lovely lad as well. Other mentions would be Nathan Minhas at Bracknell, Oluwaseun Akinsanya formerly at Ware and Simeon Olarin at Staines. 

What made you want to get into coaching and become a manager?

I realised very early coaching was the best path to go down to further myself in football, along with a passion for recruitment. I just can’t imagine doing anything else!

How far do you think Chalfont can go in the league this season?

With a squad so young and on a budget that would possibly be one of the smallest in the league I believe were excelling already! But I believe in my players and our ambitions of a play off place. 

What other leagues do you like to watch and study?

All of them! Isthmian, Southern League at Step 3 & 4. Spartan, Combined, Hellenic, Essex Senior at Step 5 and below! It pays to know what’s going on. 

What are your earliest memories of football?

Watford vs Blackpool, on a rainy & cold school night in the mid 90’s. Freezing cold toes, 0-0, terrible game. Bloody loved every second of it! Watford fan ever since. 

What do you think the biggest issues are that are affecting non league football these days?

Money, nobody is willing to do something for nothing. I don’t believe it’s necessary. We’re living proof of that, thousands of pounds a week spent at competitors below us in the table. Does nothing but put the future of good clubs with good people in them at risk.

Daniel Williams is your top scorer this season, have you set him any challenges for this season?

Yes, keep scoring! I believe he could play a lot higher if he can focus his mind and bit more and work on his consistency. I want that big move for him, when it comes I’ll drive him there myself! Just as I would for any other of my young players. 

Who is your footballing idol player-wise and managerial wise?

Playing it was “No-Nonsense” Watford Full Back Paul Robinson. Loved going to watch his blood and thunder performances. Manager, Bobby Robson, a true gentleman and proof kindness is a trait that’s valuable in our game. 

What is your top footballing memory?

Without doubt, Watford vs Leicester play off semi final, penalty saved one end, Deeney scores at the other! Incredible. 

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