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Johnville earns pro deal

20 January 2017

Young right-back signs for Wimbledon

Johnville Renee-Pringle’s impressive form for our Under-21s has been rewarded with a professional contract at AFC Wimbledon.

The 19-year-old’s contract at Stoke City was cancelled by mutual consent and Johnville felt that a move back down South – he was brought up in Camden – was the best option for his career.

Under-21s manager Alan Reeves said: “Johnville has athleticism and he is a good footballer. As with all young defenders, he still has work to do on his defensive qualities, but that can be touched upon in time. Stoke City told him that he would not get another pro deal so now he has an opportunity to make a career for himself here.

“We have been looking for a young right-back all season. Osaze (Urhoghide) and Toby (Sibbick) have both played there, but they are centre-backs really. We were purposely taking our time to get one in who could be a potential first-teamer.”

Johnville did not have to turn far for advice about joining us with former AFC Wimbledon defender Ryan Sweeney as one of his team-mates at Stoke.

“Ryan spoke about the promotion push last year and he said a couple of young players were involved so that was good to hear,” said Johnville. “The training is good because the coaches tell you straight what you need to do. The integration with the first-team is good too as it gives you an idea of what is required. It is all positive.

“I’ve looked up the history of AFC Wimbledon and it’s great that the club is run by its fans. I’ve also seen the clips from the play-off final. It’s a big opportunity for me here and I aim to be in the right frame of mind to take it by pushing on for the first-team. The manager seems like a nice, genuine coach and I am looking forward to working with him a lot more.”

Johnville, who started his career by joining Leyton Orient at the age of 10, switched to Stoke City at 15 and progressed to their Under-21 squad, before being allowed to leave the Potteries. His performances for our Under-21s caught the eye, most recently in the 2-2 draw at home to AFC Bournemouth.

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