Meet The Team - Phil Johnston
Meet Phil Johnston, a fitness instructor with us here at NL Leisure who recently represented the Scotland National Team at Junior level. Phil has also played at senior level with various clubs including Clyde, Stirling Albion & Airdrie.
We recently caught up with Phil and spoke to him about his experience of representing Scotland and his career in football.
Read about it below:
1. How long have you worked with NL Leisure for?
I’ve worked for NL leisure for around 7 years. I started working as casual staff in the bars and doing leisure attendant duties before going through my level 2 gym instructor and level 3 personal trainer. I currently work as a fitness instructor in Broadwood gym.
2. Tell us a bit about yourself & your football?
I’ve been working as a fitness instructor at Broadwood for 4 years. I’ve also been lucky enough to have been able to treat football as a second job. I’ve played as a wide midfielder at the majority of clubs I have been at throughout my career.
3. Representing Scotland at junior level is a great achievement, how long have you been playing with the Scotland junior team for?
This is my first season playing at junior level so my first involvement. To be honest I never even knew there was a Scotland setup so it was exciting when they released the squad and I found out that I had been selected. They only hold the tournament every 2/3 years so it was an honour to represent my country regardless of the level. We all checked in to a hotel in Glasgow on the Wednesday morning before the first game of the tournament where we stayed until the Saturday so there was a real professional feel about it.
4. How did Scotland get on in the tournament?
The tournament was a round robin format with 3 games in 4 days. With a squad of 20 it was an intense few days for everyone. We drew with Northern Ireland 2-2 the first game on Wednesday afternoon before beating the Republic of Ireland 1-0 the next day. We beat Isle of Man 2-1 on the Saturday but narrowly missed out on winning the tournament through goal difference to Northern Ireland.
5. Tell us a bit about your current team, and who you’ve played for in the past?
I currently play for Clydebank in the West of Scotland Premier Division. They had a successful season last year and won promotion so we are looking to compete and hold our own this season in the top league. I played senior for 7 seasons previously with Airdrie, Dumbarton, Stirling Albion and Clyde.
6. Biggest footballing achievement?
Three main occasions spring to mind. One was getting to play against Rangers at both Ibrox and Forthbank (Stirling Albion’s ground). We drew with them 0-0 at Ibrox and 1-1 at home. The other was winning promotion through the playoffs with Stirling Albion in the 2013/14 season. Lastly getting to represent my country is something I have always wanted to do so I’m grateful to have been given that opportunity.
7. Any other comments?
I was close to giving up playing football altogether through a loss of love but I’m grateful to my current manager and good friend Kieran McAnespie for persuading me to sign for Clydebank. The past few months I’ve really started to enjoy playing again. Getting to represent my country was something I gave up on as I started to get a bit older! It might not be the level you dream of as a young boy but it’s still been an honour and a proud moment in my life.
All of us here at NL Leisure would like to say a huge well done to Phil for representing his country.
That's all for this week's 'Meet the Team', be sure to keep an eye on our social media channels for more great content.