Melbourne City have today announced the signing of 29-year-old defender Samantha Johnson for the 2020-21 W-League season.
Johnson brings a wealth of much-needed experience to the squad having played in the American NWSL since its inception for the Chicago Red Stars and Utah Royals. Even better, the central defender also boasts previous W-League experience having played for Sydney FC and twice for Melbourne Victory, most recently in their 2018-19 Premiership-winning season.
Former Utah Royals coach Laura Harvey gave a glowing endorsement of Johnson in 2019, describing her as a centre-back who is “really hard to get by and she’s a last-minute tackler and it’s so hard for defenders to take her on 1-v-1. I don’t ever want to go against her 1-v-1 in training.”
This particular City signing, however, represents more than just another handy acquisition for the 2020-21 season; in signing for City, Johnson comes out of her retirement from professional football which she initially announced on June 28, 2019.
Throughout her professional career, Johnson fell in and out of love with the sport, before deciding in 2019 that she would give her life as a footballer away (despite still being a regular NWSL starter) in order to focus on other personal and business endeavours.
A role model who aspires to empower young women and provoke social change through her brand BETTER, Samantha Johnson represents an excellent acquisition given the current global situation and will be a fundamental contributor to City’s on- and off-field objectives.