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Keeper Johnson invited back by USL club

Goalkeeper Daniel Johnson hopes to grab his opportunity with both hands after being invited for a second trial at United Soccer League (USL) professional side Harrisburg City Islanders.

The Dandy Town shot-stopper will join the outfit for pre-season training later this month after impressing at recent try-outs.

He was recommended to the Pennsylvania-based club by former Bermuda international David Bascome, who played for the Islanders in 2004.

“I’m expecting fierce competition heading into training camp,” said Johnson, who has also turned out for Bermuda Hogges in the Premier Development League, a tier below the USL Pro League. “I know it’s not going to be an easy task, and the try-outs alone were very intense.

“I’m going in with a clear mind and going to make the most of this opportunity. I have a lot more convincing to do and impressing for the coaching staff.

“I’m going to work hard every day and try to be the best out there and my main objective is to be consistent.

“Being consistent as a goalkeeper will take you a long way. I want to come in every day and perform and show my coaches how bad I want this.”

More than 40 players attended the first trial, including six keepers of which only two were invited back.

While Johnson admits he is not the tallest of keepers, he believes he can overcome that potential stumbling block by working hard.

“Honestly, I’m a bit intimidated because of the size of the other goalkeepers who will be going into camp,” he said.

“I’m not the tallest of keepers and in today’s professional arena, most keepers are tall and most coaches would rather have a big keeper.

“That’s the challenge I face but I know I can make up the size gap because I have a good work ethic, I’m very athletic and I’m determined.

“I see this as a win-win situation because if I don’t make the team, this will have been a big step and learning curve in my career and I’m just looking to develop and get better.”

Johnson has spent the winter training with Bascome’s Baltimore Blast team in preparation for the upcoming outdoor season.

He attributed his opportunity with the Islanders to his manager Quency Phillips and Blast’s assistant coach Bascome.

“I actually found out about the Islanders through David Bascome last summer. He was impressed by my performances during Island Soccer League and wanted me to come up and try out for the team,” said Johnson.

“He is currently the assistant coach for the Baltimore Blast and has sent a few players from Bermuda to go on trial with the Islanders in the past as well.

“He and the coach have a good relationship and also my manager Quency Phillips, who has also played a big part in me getting up here and making all the arrangements.

“Quency talked to the coaches and made sure everything ran smoothly, so hopefully I can land a contract which I want so bad.”

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Published March 14, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 14, 2012 at 8:59 am)

Keeper Johnson invited back by USL club

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