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Johnson: A Fantastic Opportunity
Monday, 1st Jul 2024 13:36

New signing Ben Johnson says joining Town is a fantastic opportunity for him, the 24-year-old having formally joined the Blues this morning after leaving West Ham United where he had spent 17 years.

Right-back Johnson, who has penned a four-year deal, became Town’s second senior addition of the summer following fellow Londoner Omari Hutchinson to Suffolk.

Johnson, who can also operate at left-back and in midfield, had interest from plenty of clubs in England and reportedly also from his former Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini, who is now at Real Betis in La Liga, and was asked why he opted for Town.

“Everything’s brand new,” he told TownTV. “Not being in the Premier League for the last 22 years, it’s going to be a new experience for the fans. It’s a new experience for me to come here to such a historic club.

“Coming to the stadium, the training ground has been an amazing experience and something new for me and I just think it’s going to be a fresh start.

“Something that I’ve sensed that I’ve needed. I’ve been at West Ham for the last 17 years, that’s all I’ve ever known and staying on there, would it be different? I’m not so sure.

“But this opportunity came up and it was one that I don’t think I could turn down with the last two years, Ipswich’s rise from League One to the Premier League, Kieran McKenna, the players, following the top end of the Championship all last season and seeing how well they were doing and how they just stayed at the top for the duration of the season.

“To get in the Premier League is a great achievement and I feel like it’s definitely the next step for my development to play more regularly.”

Reflecting further on Town’s climb from League One to the Premier League in two seasons, he added: “It’s very unique, it doesn’t come around regularly and it shows the dynamic of the club, the structure of it from top to bottom.

“The investment side, recruiting the right manager, the right players to be able to improve in consecutive seasons is not easy to do, and probably ahead of schedule and it just shows the group, the atmosphere that is here at Ipswich and I just feel for this season, it’s going to be even better.

“No one knows what’s going to happen but we know that we’re going to enjoy it, there’s going to be a lot of joy this season, a lot of togetherness and I think that’s something I wanted to be a part of.

“For me it’s going to be new and something that I’m ready to go and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Johnson, a member of the West Ham squad which won the 2023 Europa Conference League, although an unused sub in the final, says he had positive conversations with manager Kieran McKenna and CEO Mark Ashton.

“Brilliant,” he enthused. “Spoke to Kieran a few times and just the plan that he has for the club, Mark’s plan that he has for the club. Mark overseeing everything and Kieran doing everything with the football side.

“He’s brought success so there’s no reason to change that. He’s brilliant. What he wants to do for this season, the plan on and off the pitch, the plan for myself as well was really refreshing to here and you can see he’s going to be a successful manager Ipswich and in the future.

“It’s definitely a great mix to come in here and I want to focus on my football, I love my football so it’s something that I really want to maximise.”

A committed Christian, who is marrying fiancee Jessie next year, Johnson says he’s at a stage where he’s ready to be a fixture in the team having been in and out of the side at West Ham.

“When I’m playing regularly I enjoy my football, I can build a rhythm, I can build confidence and I feel playing regularly is going to help me,” he said.

“This is my job, this is what I’ve always wanted to do and every footballer wants to do that.

“There are always going to be times in your career when you may not play as much but I’m at a stage now, I’m 24, I’m at a really good age to play with the experience I have to make that regular and a club like this is a fantastic opportunity for me.”

Waltham Forest-born, Chigwell-raised Johnson, whose uncle is former England full-back Paul Parker, while another former Three Lion, Ledley King, is a cousin, made 38 Premier League starts for the Hammers as well as 31 appearances from the bench.

The 10-times-capped former England U21 international says having those games under his belt will benefit his new teammates, none of whom he knew before meeting them prior to pre-season getting under way at Playford Road this morning.

“Hopefully I’ll bring a lot of experience,” he continued. “I’ve played in big games, I’ve played at times regularly in the Premier League. There have been times when I’ve had to be on the sidelines and still be a good teammate, so I’ve got a nice blend of it all really, of Premier League experience.

“I think it’s going to be helpful for me to learn from the boys and for them to learn from me, the intensity and what it takes to play in the Premier League and I’m sure this squad and these players will all be capable of doing that.

“I think the adrenaline coming from the Championship to the Premier League always in the first season is going to help, the fans are going to add that extra bit that we’ll need and I’m sure with more Premier League experience, Ipswich will have a good season.”

Photos: ITFC

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KBsSocks added 14:05 - Jul 1
Welcome !

And, c'mon, who's the photographer ITFC ?

rodthergasman added 14:09 - Jul 1
TH]is is a great singing for us.


LegendofthePhoenix added 14:15 - Jul 1
Welcome to ITFC Ben. Good words from you, and you will have competition for that RB position, so work hard, show us what you can do and we'll have a song for you in no time.

runningout added 14:15 - Jul 1
think you mean signing

Marinersnose added 14:23 - Jul 1
A very shrewd acquisition and a young player with PL experience who wants to improve. In KMK we trust

Blueray added 14:33 - Jul 1
May sound a weird thing to say...but was more excited about this signing than Hutchinson. This guy talks a good game, looks the part and looks an ideal signing.Young, athletic, Premier league experience and firmly grounded. What's not to like?

Suffolkboy added 14:37 - Jul 1
Strikes immediately as intelligent and thoughtfully articulate ; tremendous experience and years on his young shoukders but quite evidently keen to both learn more and contribute . No wonder KM and MA see him as well fitting the profile needed at ITFC !
Congratulations to all involved - again we see ITFC having got ahead with planning and rewarding results .

Churchman added 14:45 - Jul 1
He comes across really well. Very impressed. Grounded, articulate and with some PL experience. A good acquisition. I suspect he will like Suffolk

Linkboy13 added 15:11 - Jul 1
Under McKenna he will become an England player . I think if McKenna had left it would have been more difficult to have attracted players to the club such is the reputation of the man.

Karlosfandangal added 15:32 - Jul 1
Town just need to match KmK ambition really and players will come to the club, there is no reason over time with this management team and Investors why Town cannot be up there with the big teams.

Champions League football is a big possibility in the future, maybe not too distant future.

3 years ago as KmK was replacing Mr Cook Championship football seem a long way off.

Dutchman1 added 15:49 - Jul 1
Another high-character signing and speaks with great intelligence. Ideal type of player to be adding to the mix.

dirtydingusmagee added 16:37 - Jul 1
Certainly sounds ''UP FOR IT '' Welcome to Town Ben ,

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 16:56 - Jul 1
Welcome, Ben! I'm sure you are going to do well for us.

therein61 added 17:22 - Jul 1
Welcome Ben your versatility will be an asset for the challenge ahead.

cardinaldom88 added 19:29 - Jul 1
One of the biggest things for me is the length of the contracts. I feel that this is a good sign of intent in signing Johnson and Hutchinson but most importantly is having these guys tied for 4 and 5 years. Historically, under previous management it would have 2 with an option.

Welcome Ben, looking forward to seeing you play and the competition in the squad.

Normandyblue added 20:38 - Jul 1
Good pedigree good attitude, we look forward to seeing you play, Ben.

Dissboyitfc added 21:41 - Jul 1
Welcome Ben, really sounds up for it.

Wonder who's next? Exciting times.

Camerawork and editing shocking at times!

Rsj13 added 22:19 - Jul 1
Getting KVY(2.0!) vibes... articulate, decent guy. Excited for this one!

Bazza8564 added 08:44 - Jul 2
Young, hungry, athletic and technically good. Ticks the main four boxes but hes obviously a really nice lad too. Welcome Ben, you are gonna be loved here fella and as you haven't cost us the £20m quid you would have done in contract are an absolute steal.

BuckieBlue added 10:35 - Jul 2
Interesting- BJ turned down a 5 year deal for our 4 yr; seems hard to think WHU weren't offering more money, so he must obviously fancy us and that's a real statement of faith from him. I like it!

ChrisR added 10:59 - Jul 2
Looks and Sounds just great . Club continuing to sign good characters as well good players .
Good luck Ben !

BuckieBlue added 16:46 - Jul 2
Yes, ChrisR I see he's a man of faith so that should speak well for his character.

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