The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

MOST foot­ballers would jump at the chance to test them­selves against the world cham­pi­ons, but Old­ham boss Lee John­son is cut from a dif­fer­ent cloth.

John­son re­tired from play­ing in Jan­uary 2013 and took the Lat­ics job two months later. But that didn’t stop Euro­pean foot­ball new-boys Gibraltar from ask­ing him to turn out for them this week.

Gibraltar suf­fered a 7-0 de­feat to Poland in their open­ing UEFA Euro 2016 qual­i­fy­ing clash and face 2014 World Cup win­ners Ger­many in Novem­ber.

But 33-year-old John­son, who qual­i­fies for the tiny Mediter­ranean na­tion through a grand­par­ent, re­spect­fully de­clined their of­fer to fo­cus on Old­ham.

“It’s a funny one be­cause my nan is a full Gi­bral­tar­ian,” said John­son.“I just got a phone call from an agent say­ing they are search­ing for play­ers that could be el­i­gi­ble, would you be in­ter­ested?

“I was shocked. I rang the chair­man and the chair­man said ‘You’ve got to do it – we’re go­ing to get all the play­ers there’. I think they play Ger­many soon!

“It was nice to be thought of but I don’t re­ally want to be run­ning after the world cham­pi­ons when we’ve got a game on Satur­day!”

CALL-UP: Lee John­son

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