A-Z: DENNY JOHNSTONE

Wednesday 3rd March 2021

NEXT up to field some fun questions as part of our A-Z series with the squad is striker Denny Johnstone.

Denny has wide experience of the game on each side of the Scotland/England border, having headed south with Birmingham City when he was young.

After playing for various clubs in England he has settled back home in Scotland and has even found himself a new career path outside the game.

Many thanks to Denny for taking the time to respond, and we’re looking forward to seeing you back on the pitch.

Enjoy reading what our close season signing from Falkirk had to say.

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All-time hero – Who is your favourite player, past or present?

Henrik Larsson would be my number one choice for all-time favourite. He had endless qualities for a forward and everywhere he went his team mates seemed to laud his ability.

Back of the net – What’s the best goal you’ve scored?

The header I scored at Ibrox for St Johnstone to take the lead in what would turn out to be a 3-1 win for us. Liam Craig had spotted me early and whipped a deep cross into the box and i just used the pace of the ball to direct it back across goal – undoubtedly my fondest footballing memory.

Chill factor – What’s the worst weather you’ve ever played football in?

I have had a couple of away ties against Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup and on both occasions, it was gale force wind and blistering snow.

Dumbarton – How are you enjoying life with the club and how challenging are the current circumstances?

The season has been tough for everyone and the protocols we have to follow make the whole experience completely different. But the club have been first class and a nice place to be.

Euro 2021 – Who do you think will win it and why?

My pick for the Euros would be Portugal. They have quality all over the pitch and no one would be surprised if Ronaldo added another trophy to his cabinet.

Future – Any remaining ambitions in the game?

Any game time I get nowadays I just try to enjoy it as much as i can as it wasn’t too long ago, I thought I would never kick a ball again!

Gogglebox – What are your favourite TV shows/movies?

I have an eclectic taste when it comes to watching the TV but a top choice for me would be peaky blinders. Cillian Murphy is tremendous and every season seems to get better and better.

Heading down south – What was it like to play in the EFL with Birmingham, Colchester and various clubs on loan?

I loved every minute of my time down south. Getting to live in Birmingham and Essex was a brilliant experience. On the playing side, getting to face 23 other clubs throughout the year was the best bit. I know a lot of Scottish players find it tedious at times facing the same sides three or four times a year.

Injuries – How frustrating has it been for you in the last few years with the knocks you’ve had since tearing knee cartilage in 2018? Do you feel you are over the worst of them now?

It seems such a long time ago since I first broke down with the first knee injury. I am proud of myself for staying persistent and carrying on. The toughest thing to accept is not being able to move the way that I used to – but never for a lack of trying!

Jim Duffy – What do you feel you’ve gained from working with the Sons boss?

From my first spell working with the gaffer I definitely came away with more confidence in my ability. He had just given me a freedom on the pitch to go and express myself and learn the game. And now, just an understanding of how to be wiser on the pitch after my injury problems.

Karaoke – What would be your song if you had to do it?

Without a doubt it would be Jason Mraz – I’m Yours. I’ve picked that song for every initiation at new clubs – so I’ve had plenty of practice with it!!

Laugh Out Loud – Ever had any embarrassing moments in football?

My first day on loan to Burton Albion. One of the boys let me know that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink wanted me in his office and just to walk straight in. He was in the middle of a meeting at the time and he said check the date and to get out. I looked at my phone and noticed it was April the 1st.

Morton – You had a fantastic season on loan at Cappielow in 2015/16 and the team made the playoffs. Was there genuine confidence you could reach the Premiership?

My first spell at Morton was definitely the best season I have had in football. It was a great group of lads who I still speak to on a regular basis. We were pretty solid defensively and picked up a few good points against Hibs and Rangers.

Nou Camp – What’s the best stadium you’ve played in?

The best stadium I have played in is Fratton Park (Portsmouth). Nothing to do with the size or the facilities, I just felt the atmosphere that their fans created was deafening.

Outrageous – What’s the biggest fashion disaster you’ve seen on one of your team-mates, past or present?

In no way a disaster but the most outrageous reaction I have seen was at the awards night with St Johnstone. Zander Clark had picked the brightest coloured trousers that Perth had ever seen.

Police – You’ve recently been training to join the police; what brought about the interest in that career?

My Dad and Grandad were both police officers down in Dumfries and so it always seemed the obvious decision to apply myself.

Queen – Who are your favourite bands/musical artists?

House music and techno have always been my favourite. Every week I listen to the Roger Sanchez and defected radio podcasts.

Referee – Would you consider becoming one?

I can see the attraction to being a ref. But it’s also outweighed with all the criticism so I don’t think I would ever consider going down that road.

Supporters – Has playing behind closed doors made you wish that they could be in the stadium? What would be your message to the fans?

The atmosphere at some of the games has been surreal this season. If the music wasn’t playing during the warm-up it would be silence at times. I hope we aren’t far away from getting supporters back through the gates soon. The game truly suffers in their absence!

Three sheets to the wind – What’s the most amusing thing you’ve seen on a team night out?

Watching a team mate at Colchester try to ice skate at the Christmas market in Nottingham. It was fairly late on the Sunday night and his balance had seen better days after the pints.

Ugly – What’s the angriest scene you’ve witnessed in a dressing room after a game?

I’ve seen a fair few water coolers booted and boys squaring up etc. But I’m not a fan of the silent treatment. Sitting for 15-20 minutes without a word spoken is horrible.

VAR – Are you a fan of it?

I don’t mind the idea of VAR but they need to change the way they are using it. There is always a lack of clarity with the decision-making process. And the time it takes to reach certain decisions just takes all the emotion out of it.

Wish you were here – What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I love Dubai. You’re guaranteed nice weather and the food is the best.

Xylophone – Any hidden talents outside the game?

Nothing to note that sticks out, but I enjoy a bit of cooking!

Young guns – You’ve been capped by Scotland at four different youth levels. Who did you play alongside who’s gone on to make it at the top?

A huge number of the boys I played with have gone on to have decent careers but a few that have made full caps would be John McGinn, Ryan Fraser, Stuar
t Findlay, Callum Paterson, Oli Mcburnie and Lawrence Shankland.

Zzzzzzz – Whose patter sends you to sleep?

I will sit on the fence here as I’m no comedian myself!

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