Krys­tle is proud of glit­ter­ing fi­nale

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Matt Bad­cock

KRYS­TLE JOHN­STON is ready to sparkle for a new club af­ter call­ing time on her eight years at Manch­ester City.

The 31-year-old was the last sur­viv­ing player from City’s pre­vi­ous guise, Manch­ester City Ladies, be­fore they trans­formed to Manch­ester City Women and the full-time force they are to­day.

Lo­cal

That mid­fielder John­ston has been a part of the club for so long is tes­ta­ment to her qual­ity, and is even more im­pres­sive con­sid­er­ing she’s also held down a 30-hour-aweek job with Bri­tish Gas.

While most of her team­mates could put their feet up on a day off, John­ston would be in her of­fice day-job – some­times even on a Satur­day morn­ing be­fore a game.

“If our sched­ule had a Mon­day and a Thurs­day re­cov­ery, which is a day off, that’s when I would go and do my hours with Bri­tish Gas,” John­ston told Women’s Foot-

ball Weekly. “The man­ager Nick Cush­ing sup­ported me 100 per cent if I had to miss the odd ses­sion, and if I had to work be­fore a game and miss the walk-throughs it wouldn’t af­fect if I was play­ing or not.

“Of course at times you feel like you’re miss­ing out and it can be dif­fi­cult with away games in the week. I have to make sure I’ve got my hours cov­ered, but Bri­tish Gas are very sup­port­ive as well so I’m very lucky.

“I’m a lo­cal girl, so when the op­por­tu­nity came around to train full-time I grabbed the chance. I’d never re­ally trained full-time be­fore. I usu­ally trained in the evenings.

“At the very be­gin­ning, when it first changed over to Manch­ester City Women, they had five girls in full-time. They would train in the day and we would all come in at night.

“Once Nick got re­ally in­volved he de­cided it had to change and that we couldn’t train in the evening if we wanted to get bet­ter.

“But again he gave me the chance to stay and we went on to win the Con­ti­nen­tal Cup.”

Win­ning that fi­nal last sea­son, where John­ston set-up the win­ning goal against Arse­nal, is her stand-out high­light from a long stint that has yielded more than 100 goals and ended in this sea­son’s sec­ond­place fin­ish and Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Trans­formed

She says the ex­tra train­ing and pro­fes­sion­al­ism has im­proved her game no end and made her the fittest she’s ever been.

Hav­ing played her part in the club’s rise and seen an incredible trans­for­ma­tion in the fa­cil­i­ties at their dis­posal, she ad­mits it will be tough to leave the club she loves.

“We used to play at Flix­ton’s men’s ground,” she said. “We used to train in a park – fit­ness was run­ning around a

tree!

“Now City have this train­ing com­plex that’s un­real.

“We’ve al­ways had a good fan­base, but when the girls came back from the World Cup we re­ally did see even more of a change. The crowds more than dou­bled and the pro­file got even big­ger. “That’s be­cause of what the girls did in Canada and how clubs are get­ting more in­volved. Lo­cally peo­ple do recog­nise you and at Man City peo­ple like Pa­trick Vieira and Brian Kidd al­ways have time for us. They’re al­ways there ask­ing how we’re get­ting on. “I’m still go­ing to be at City for the next cou­ple of months train­ing. I love the club and I can’t thank them and Nick enough.

“I’ve had a fan­tas­tic time but it’s time for a new chal­lenge for me. There’s com­pe­ti­tion for places at ev­ery club, but I know if I can be some­where where I get a run of games I’ve got so much to of­fer.”

PIC­TURE: The FA

NEW ERA: Krys­tle John­ston has been re­leased by Man City WIN­NING FEEL­ING: Krys­tle John­ston was part of the Man City squad that won the 2014 Con­ti­nen­tal Cup

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