Callum Johnson admits the last few days have been a whirlwind after he signed for League One rivals Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee today.
The 23-year-old played for the Reds on Friday night in the Carabao Cup and had one year left on his Stanley contract after signing three years ago, initially on loan from Middlesbrough before the deal was made permanent in January 2018.
He admits it is huge for him to leave the Wham Stadium but he hopes the Stanley fans understand why he made the decision to go.
“It was a tough decision but I have seen my team-mates make massive moves and I realised that this was my time,” said Callum. “I hope the fans understand that.”
There had been interest from Preston North End last year for the right back and then Pompey came calling.
“I heard about Portsmouth through my agent and there have been rumours about other clubs while I was at Accrington but I have always kept my head down, given 100 per cent and done my best while it’s been going on.
“Going to a big club like Portsmouth was too big a chance to turn down, it was the best move for my career, although it was hard because of how long I had been at Accrington. I think I was the third or fourth longest serving player and I had only been there three years!
“I played a lot of games for Accrington and I always had a good rapport with the fans and knew quite a lot of them, that’s what makes Accrington so special."
He added: “I remember walking into Accrington three years ago just after deadline day, 1st September, and it took me a while to settle but once I got going, I loved it.
“My favourite moment so far on a football pitch is winning the League Two title. A memory that sticks out is the fans running onto the pitch against Yeovil when we achieved promotion. They were unbelievable scenes.
“It is strange going from playing for one side one day and then signing for another the next but that’s football. It’s a bit of a blur but I am ready for the challenge.”
He admits he is already relishing the trip to the Wham Stadium with Pompey on January 2nd.
“I am looking forward to it, it will be nice to see the lads and the fans.”
* For those interested, Callum’s dog, Hugo, who featured in the League Two trophy parade and was retweeted by Match of the Day after a video Callum did during lockdown to Dolly Parton’s ‘Nine to Five’, did go to Portsmouth!
“He did come down with me and made it into the boardroom!”