Roger Johnson made greater than 500 career appearances as a player. An FA Cup runner-up with Cardiff in 2008, Johnson was additionally a part of the well-known Birmingham City side that overcame Arsenal to win the League Cup in 2011. He went on to play for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic, however his spectacular career started at Wycombe Wanderers in 1998, the place a 15-year-old Johnson joined the Chairboys’ youth ranks. He would go on to make over 150 appearances for the Buckinghamshire side.
“I liked my time there,” he said, talking completely to the EFL.
“Truthful play to them, they’re a Championship membership now, however back after I was taking part in for them it wasn’t League One or League Two, it was the old First Division, that’s displaying my age!”
Johnson spent time at Portsmouth and AFC Bournemouth as a teen earlier than becoming a member of Wycombe as a 15-year-old, the place he developed by way of the membership’s youth system.
At 17 he made his debut, which on the time, noticed him turn into the youngest-ever player to make a Football League look for the membership. The next season he was additionally part of the squad that beat Premier League side Leicester City to succeed in the FA Cup Quarter-Finals.
“It was very totally different,” he reflected. “I used to be a young lad taking part in against skilled males. The typical age of the team was about 32, these days it’s about 21, the children have taken over!
“I used to be a young lad at Wycombe and it made me develop up rapidly, I discovered to respect my elders and I just liked each minute of it. And it labored out well, I made my debut at 17 years old away at Cambridge and I’ve just obtained so many fond memories there.
“It was the constructing block for me so I’ll at all times be appreciative to Wycombe as a membership for giving me my chance, I wouldn’t change any of it.”
Now Under-23 manager at National League membership, Bromley, Johnson retains an eye fixed on the Chairboys’ outcomes and is full of reward for each the membership and the job being achieved by manager Gareth Ainsworth.
“It’s an excellent story. They’ve been up and down over the years and been between League’s One and Two, however they put a few seasons collectively which have been wonderful and to win within the Play-Offs the way in which they did was sensible.”
A 2-1 win over Oxford United within the 2019/20 League One Play-Off Final secured Championship football for Wycombe for the primary time of their history, an event that may dwell lengthy within the memory of everybody related to the membership.
“I’m so happy that they’re the place they’re. Folks typically say ‘little Wycombe Wanderers’, however they’ve proven that they’re not anymore.
“They could be backside of the Championship however I imagine the Championship is without doubt one of the hardest league’s within the world to each stay in and to get out of, each sport is such a troublesome one.
“The start they’d was robust, however of late they’ve proven some actual character and obtained a couple of wins on the board, so I’m hoping it’ll go to the wire. I’m really happy they’ve made it into the Championship, I feel they deserved that chance as a membership and Gareth Ainsworth deserves it as a manager, they’ve caught with him and he’s achieved great.”
Ainsworth is without doubt one of the EFL’s longest-serving managers, having been answerable for the membership since 2012. In fact earlier than taking the managerial reigns within the dugout, he additionally made greater than 100 look for the Chairboys as a player, however his two promotions in three years – taking Wycombe to the second tier of English football for the primary time of their history – is what he’ll be eternally remembered for.
“He’ll go down in folklore, he deserves it,” Johnson continued.
“He is achieved so well there and constructed one thing particular, and that’s what occurs once you keep on with a manger. I get pleasure from it when Golf equipment keep on with somebody and they go up collectively and they go down collectively, it’s paid off for Wycombe.
“Just getting out of League One with a few of the teams in there on the moment was an achievement. And within the last six to eight video games within the Championship they’ve really been holding their own, they’ve had some great video games.
“I commentated on their win over Birmingham City and that was a great outcome for them. I’m really hoping they’ll string a couple of outcomes collectively, climb out of the underside three and in the event that they do that, what a fantastic season it will be for them.”