Streatham Redskins are delighted to announce the return of a familiar
face to the club as Joe ‘Magic’ Johnston has agreed to sign for the 2012/13 season.
The popular winger was one of the key guys who ensured league hockey
returned to South London in 2004 as the Redskins returned from the
wilderness, to compete in the English National League.
Johnston took a sabbatical from hockey in 2011/12 as he travelled
through Asia to find spiritual fulfilment amongst other things,
leaving behind the Redskins in their final season at the old High Road
“My travelling experience was one of my life long dreams come true -
it was probably the most incredible thing I’ve ever done” explained
the 32 year old, who left his kit at home.
“Now I’m home, I’m slowly adapting and getting back in to my old life
and a huge part of that is hockey. I kept in touch with most of the
boys and Spoursy (Redskins Coach Barry Spours) throughout last season
as much as the Asian internet would allow me to and it was tough to
see the team struggling as they did”
“I’m a Streatham supporter first and foremost and everyone knows how
passionately I feel about the club so it was tough reading every
Monday morning on Pro Hockey News or the Redskins website but I always
believed we would stay up”
“It was really upsetting not being there for the last game in the old
rink too but I already said my personal goodbyes to the grand old lady
before I went”
Johnston’s last appearance in a Redskins shirt was last summer as he
took part in the friendly game with Lee Valley Lions in aid of
charity. Streatham won the game 9-1 but it did not signal a happy road
ahead and the team suffered a terrible start to the season.
“I wasn’t sure whether I’d ever play again when I first left but after
a while I really missed it; this sport and this club is in my blood”
admitted Johnston, who also iced with the Guildford Flames at the
beginning of his senior career in the BNL.
“I’ve kept myself reasonably fit while away, travelling itself keeps
your fitness levels up anyway but I was also running on the beach here
and there and doing various other stuff but it’s never the same as
being on the ice”
“My main aim is to get on the ice as much as possible over the summer
so I’m ready for the upcoming season, but mentally I’m raring to go.
At 32 I know that my best years are probably behind me now but I have
a real hunger and desire still, especially with not playing for a
year. I feel fresh and I’m sure I can still do a good job for the
A major star for a number of years with the team, Johnston has
appeared 165 times for the Redskins scoring 141 goals making him the
4th all time point scorer for the club behind Fred Perlini, Craig
Melancon and Gary Stefan.
“It’s nice to see the team moving in the right direction at this early
stage” explained Johnston, who is dubbed in some quarters as ‘Mr
“It makes a change as usually at this time we’d no doubt be struggling
to find players or dealing with various other issues but it seems
there’s better organisation and a much needed feeling of optimism and
belief and I think that shows with the signings we’ve made already -
maybe it’s something to do with the new rink”
“Spoursy’s assembling a decent team on paper here and I’m hopeful
we’ll be competitive next season and maybe spring a few surprises”
“I haven’t been back long but I’ve already been to the new rink and I
think it’s a great facility. I just can’t wait to pull on the famous
jersey again and get cracking. It’s always been the highest of honours
to represent Streatham and to be a part of this new chapter of the
clubs history is exciting”
“The fans are the best fans in the world – they had a hard year last
year and deserve to have something positive to shout about and I will
be doing my best to provide that for them. Even though there’s a
slight adjustment with the rink now being in Brixton, it’s good to be
Johnston becomes the fifth player to sign up for the upcoming season
with the Skins, with new faces Dom Hopkins and Jakub Klima joined by
returnees Will Sanderson and Adam Mahoney so far.
“Everyone loves Joe at Streatham, especially the fans” said Coach Barry Spours.
“He is part of the furniture here and there was a significant period
of time when the whole Redskins team was pretty much built around him,
which has its obvious benefits and drawbacks”
“I would like to think that we are in a stronger position this year to
make sure we can utilise the abundance of skills Joe has without any
over reliance on him. He has had his year away in Asia, and he can now
focus on helping the team have a successful year”
“We know he has composure on the puck and that he is a passionate
player so it all adds to the personality and atmosphere I want within
the squad this year”
Fans will be able to meet Joe and the rest of last season’s ‘Great
Escape’ squad at the End of Season Awards night this coming Saturday
at the Greyhound Bar Streatham. The evening begins at 8pm and tickets
are available on the door for the bargain price of £5.