SAME AGAIN PLEASE JOHNO!
After scoring in last season's famous victory over Staffordshire, Lewis Johnson speaks to us ahead of tomorrow's FA County Youth Cup Final where Norfolk will look to retain the trophy against Manchester.
Lewis, once again you’re in the final of the FA County Youth Cup,
how has this year’s journey been?
The cup run itself has been brilliant. We've
gone behind twice in games and have come back to win and we've also cruised
through games that we should have won by more. Overall, we’ve shown great
character to get here again and it’s going to be amazing to play in the final
What’s been your most memorable or favourite part of this season
The Cornwall game was probably the most intense,
enjoyable and bizarre game I have ever played in. We were dominating and went
in at half time 2-0 up; it could have easily been 5 or 6 nil. We then found ourselves
3-2 down and we were moments from going out of the competition when we won a
penalty and Owen Murphy scored the equaliser from the spot. Jack Cottingham then
got us the winner in extra time to see us into the next round, but what a game.
My favourite part of the season without a doubt, to get that goal in the last
minute just shows the tenacity of this squad.
"We defend the goal like heroes and we attack in numbers with every player giving 100%."
This team certainly does seem to have character in abundance as
well as a never-say-die attitude. What do you put that team belief down to?
Overall I think the main reason why we've done
so well is because we know deep down that you can never write off this special
Norfolk side. We have the most amazing group of players and the best staff,
coaches and managers you could want. They apply no pressure on us and we go out
and play our own football, whatever the other team does. We defend the goal
like heroes and we attack in numbers with every player giving 100%.
"I remember saying to my team mates, 'I can't set foot back in Norfolk if we lose this game!' I couldn't bear the thought of going from Champions, to out in the first round."
As Captain you are inspiration to your fellow teammates, but was
there any point during this season’s cup run, in which you felt nervous?
I’ll bring up that game against Cornwall again,
and I’ve got to say during extra time. We were all so tired and the whole venue
was silent, we could barely talk as we wanted to save our breath. I remember
saying to my team mates, "I can't set foot back in Norfolk if we lose this
game!" I couldn't bear the thought of going from Champions, to out in the
first round. Thankfully though, Jack getting that winner saw us on our way, and
we’re here in the final once again!
That’s right; Norfolk and you yourself are in the Final of the FA
County Youth Cup for the second year running. How does it feel?
We all know the final will be the hardest game
yet but every single one of us is looking forward to it. Throughout this year’s
cup run I feel we've been underdogs in every game and personally I think this
has given us a risk free and relaxed playing style in every match. We feel
no pressure on us as a team as we know we've achieved beyond people’s expectations.
"We are all looking forward to the most thrilling, competitive game that many of us will ever be privileged enough to play in."
And finally, what can we expect on the big stage, tomorrow at
We expect Manchester to have a set game plan,
and for them to play out from the back; but I’m hoping that the pitch will suit
our style and help us towards victory. We will play with freedom and we are all
looking forward to the most thrilling, competitive game that many of us will ever
be privileged enough to play in.
The FA County Youth Cup Final 2019
Manchester U18’s v Norfolk U18’s
The Crown Oil Arena, Rochdale FC
Saturday 13 April, KO 2pm
Follow @NorfolkCountyFA on Twitter for in-game updates.