It’s back to where it all began for Adam Johnson this year. The 23-year-old from Sheffield has rejoined Swedish fourth-tier side Boden BK, four years on from when his football adventure abroad began.
The striker from Yorkshire played for Rotherham United growing up, completing his scholarship with the Millers and leaving the club in December 2015. After a brief spell playing for Northern Counties East League side Parkgate, Johnson was offered the chance to join Boden through the LFE programme. The club at the time were managed by English coach Stuart Gibson and have a record of bringing English players to the north of Sweden.
The forward made an impressive start to life in Sweden. He scored 12 goals in 25 appearances in the fourth-tier as Boden finished in fifth place. The club, who played in the second division between 2003 and 2005, boasted some of the best facilities in their division, with their home stadium being the impressive 5,300 capacity Boden Arena.
At the end of his first season, Johnson returned to England briefly to play for the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC.
The following year in 2017, he was back abroad and joined fifth-tier side Kiruna FF and that is when his goalscoring exploits exploded. In two seasons with the club (which sandwiched a spell at non-league club Handsworth FC), he scored a remarkable 39 goals in 40 league games, an astonishing record from the former Rotherham man. During his time with Kiruna he lined up alongside fellow Englishman Kieren Conibear-Trathen, who is a former Truro City player.
Last season saw Johnson return to the fourth-tier to join Gottne IF but the step-up level did not faze the forward at all. Alongside former Northampton Town man Danny Harmon and ex-Shrewsbury Town defender Nathan Mills, the forward kept up his incredible scoring record firing 20 goals in 24 games to finish as third top scorer in the league. Gottne finished the campaign in 7th place.
Now ahead of the 2020 season, Johnson has gone full circle by returning to Boden. The club spent last season in Division 1 (third-tier) but suffered relegation back to Division 2 ahead of this season. It will now be the 23-year-old’s job to fire his team to promotion.
On his return to Boden, Johnson had this to say: “I am happy to be back in Boden. I was here in 2016 and enjoyed it very much. I have wanted to come back and now it fits well when I have family and we are close to Kiruna, where my girlfriend comes from. I look forward to the season and to playing at Boden Arena, which I think is very nice. The club has great ambitions and I want to contribute to that.”
Good luck to Adam for the season ahead! You can follow him on Instagram here.