Escape from Bulgaria after MK Dons:'6 months since played in England but excited to join Southend'
01 July 2011 11:50
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Winger Jamal Johnson is back in the UK and very pleased to have put pen to paper with the Shrimpers on a one year contract. Jamal Johnson: 'On the left hand side is my preferred position' Welcome to the newest Shrimper on the block, the wideboy Jamal Johnson, who should keep Ryan Hall on speed, though the pair starting with Barry Corr and Neil Harris in the centre up front is quite a nice thought. Ohh look at us, playing at picking the starting eleven without having to choose someone who has just left school, it's very exciting. Anyway, it seems we might have signed young Jamal back during the last January transfer window, so he's happy to be at a place where he's wanted, well, he is a yank. Johnson told www.southendunited.co.uk: "It's been six months since iIlast played in England and Southend is an exciting place to be at. I have a manager who has said a lot of good things to me and is really positive about the season, so I wanted to be a part of it. I almost came here in January as Southend were one of the sides who wanted to take me on. There were a lot of people speaking to me at the time who made me make a different decision. I don't regret that but hopefully I have come here now and we have a chance to work together." So you choose Bulgaria, after Milton Keynes, and we won't even mention Blackburn, blimey Jamal you just love the glamour. Johnson continued: "I have been playing in Bulgaria and the people were great but on the football side of things there is a lot going on out there financially, (right club son). We, (Locomotive Sofia), qualified for Europe which was a great achievement for myself as I scored the goal that put us through. I have good memories from my time there but I am excited to be back in England." Jamal certainly knows about life in the basement division after his time with the Franchise. He explained: "I played in League Two with MK Dons previously and we won the league and also the JPT trophy. It was a successful time so hopefully I can take that experience into next season. On the left hand side is my preferred position but I can play on the right hand side also. I want to just be in the team." The former Wolverhampton winger missed the first day back in training but can't wait to get stuck in with the rest of the lads. Johnson concluded: "It's very important that I have signed here early. The gaffer has been saying how pleased he is that he's getting it all in order now as last season he signed 17 players the day before the season started. That is good for the team and myself as we can all learn each other's game and gel quickly. I've only had three weeks off in the summer since I stopped playing so I feel pretty fit and hopefully that will give me an edge." Not exactly the day before Jamal but we get your point. Another piece in what will hope will be a promotion jigsaw. A big hearty S24 welcome to Southend United Jamal and the best of luck. He's excited, are you? Tell us here: www.southendunited-mad.co.uk/interactive/voting_polls.asp The Johnson Files Personal information Full name Jemal Jermaine Johnson Date of birth 3 May 1985 (1985-05-03) (age 26) Place of birth Paterson, New Jersey, United States Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) Playing position Winger; Striker Youth career Manchester United 2001–2004 Blackburn Rovers Senior career* Years Team Apps† (Gls)† 2004–2006 Blackburn Rovers 6 (0) 2005 → Preston North End (loan) 3 (1) 2006 → Darlington (loan) 9 (3) 2006–2007 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 (3) 2007 → Leeds United (loan) 5 (0) 2007–2011 Milton Keynes Dons 96 (12) 2010 → Stockport County (loan) 16 (2) 2010 → Port Vale (loan) 6 (0) 2011 Lokomotiv Sofia 11 (1) * Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11:56, 29 May 2011 (UTC).† Appearances (Goals). (Player info supplied by Wikipedia, for the full article go here:: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jemal_Johnson)