Johnson returning as Panthers team boss after all

Panthers trophy-winning team manager Carl Johnson.
Panthers trophy-winning team manager Carl Johnson.
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Carl Johnson has performed a U-turn to continue as Peterborough Panthers team manager - after getting the backing of his better half.

Johnson led the city club to three trophies in the last two seasons but stepped down with the intention of spending more time with partner, Katy, and young son, Charlie.

However, following Panthers’ rise into the SGB Premiership and the decision of promoter Ged Rathbone to stay on, Johnson has also had a change of heart and will now be in charge again next season.

He said: “I work long hours six days a week so it had got to the stage where speedway was eating up the vast majority of the free time I had.

“I have a young son and I’m keen to spend more time with my family, but with all of our meetings in the Premiership now being on weekdays, I will actually be able to do that at weekends.

“Katy was the one who encouraged me to give Ged a call about getting back involved and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to continue.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time as team manager and everyone knows how much the club means to me.

“We’ve had good success and we deserved to win a hell of a lot more trophies last season as well.

“But that chapter in the club’s history is now closed. We’re back in the top flight and I can’t wait to try to get the best of what is a new and very exciting team.

“It’s going to be a big challenge, but I’m going into 2019 with the same aims as I’ve had in every other season . . . to reach the play-offs and try to win silverware.”

Johnson was first appointed as team boss during 2014 - the first of five successive seasons the club spent in the sport’s second tier.

He did briefly stand down in 2016 to be replaced by Jason Attwood, but returned later that same season.

Johnson then led Panthers to the SGB Championship Fours and KO Cup double in 2017. They also retained the Fours crown this year when finishing top-of-the-table only to see a catalogue of injuries wreck their hopes of more honours.

But they’re now looking ahead to life in the SGB Premiership with former Grand Prix racer Chris Harris confirmed as their first 2019 signing earlier today.