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Forest Green sign former Leicester City defender Darnell Johnson


On the eve of the new League Two season, Forest Green have signed Darnell Johnson following a successful trial period with the club.

Johnson, who may be better known to Rovers fans as ‘Trialist 12’, was on the scoresheet in the 2-0 win over West Brom in a pre-season friendly last week.

The 24-year-old is a 6’2” defender, capable of playing at either centre-back or right-back. The godson of former England international Emile Heskey, Johnson came through the ranks at Leicester City, joining the club as a 10-year-old before leaving in 2021.

pic of them both together | Forest Green sign former Leicester City defender Darnell Johnson
New duo: Dylan Kadji and Darnell Johnson Pic: FGR

During his time at the Foxes, he enjoyed loan spells at Hibernian, Wigan Athletic and AFC Wimbledon. Johnson then joined Fleetwood Town after his 12-year stint with Leicester – and he was released by the Cods following the conclusion of last season.

After joining Rovers, Darnell said: “I’m over the moon to finally get everything done and signed. I’m looking forward to getting on the pitch and making a positive impression in front of the fans.”

Head Coach, David Horseman, added: “Darnell has been in with us on trial and he’s done very well. 

“He is a big, athletic defender who has integrated well into the group. The more he trains, the fitter and stronger he will become. We’re all looking forward to working with him.”

Allan Steele, Director of Football, said: “Darnell has been brilliant around the group. He’s been incredibly unlucky with injuries over the past couple of years, but he’s a great character. 

“It’s fantastic to welcome all the recent signings into a great club and group with a brilliant culture. The current squad has been a credit to themselves over the last six weeks – and we’re looking forward to seeing everybody come together on Saturday.”

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