Pete Johnson has been appointed Torquay United’s head of first team recruitment.
Johnson, brother of first team manager Gary Johnson, has worked with Gary at every one of his former teams, starting with a role in the Latvia national team set-up. Most recently he was an integral part of Gary Johnson’s staff at Cheltenham Town. He helped rebuild a squad of players that returned to the Football League at the first time of asking.
For the gaffer, Pete’s appointment is an important step in acquiring the right type of player to help Torquay’s promotion challenge and beyond.
“He knows exactly what I’m looking for, and he knows where to look for them,” said Gary Johnson after training today. “He’s created a lot of contacts over the years which is massive as far as following a path to get players in. People know they can go to Pete because he’s a direct line to the manager.”
“I’m delighted that he’s joined our team. I’m sure you’ll be seeing him around, but also you’ll be seeing players coming in that have been scouted by us recently, or ones in the future.”
Dave Hedges has recently moved to take up the role of head of youth to oversee United’s youth development programme. Both have the remit to bring players in for the present and the future.
“He’ll be working with Dave Hedges because Dave might find a first team player, and Pete might find a player for the development programme. It gives us more power to our elbow.”
After an enormous amount of success working with his brother, Pete is very happy to join Gary at another club and start climbing the table. Their ability to be absolutely honest with one another has been key.
“It seems to work well,” said Pete, in the midst of a busy week of scouting. “One good thing is that it doesn’t take us long to get a player because I’ll go along to a game and when I ring him up after and I fancy someone, he says “get him!”
“We have trust and an understanding and we can both be very honest with one another. I enjoy working with him.”
Pete’s immediate plans are to bring more players in to the first team squad. Most recently he was instrumental in bringing Mo Eisa to Cheltenham who was then sold to Championship side Bristol City in a multi-million pound deal.
“You’ve got to be one step ahead all of the time. Obviously we’ve got to try and get out of this league, but I’m looking at players so that – in my mind – how can we win the National League? It’s one step at a time, but that’s where I have to be, one step ahead. That’s how we’ve been in the past and it has been pretty successful with what we’ve done, and all of the promotions that we’ve had.”