Crewe Alexandra have secured the signing of local youngster John Johnston on a six month deal.
The club have been monitoring the progress of the 19-year-old for nearly a year now and he has penned a short-term deal with the League One side.
Johnston has been playing for Staffordshire side Leek Town in the Northern Premier League Division One South, where he won the young player of the year for the entire league.
He also made it into the league’s team of the year alongside fellow teammates Jordan Johnson and Danny Smith as the Blues finished third, losing out in the play-offs to Belper Town.
Crewe manager Steve Davis originally signed the former Kidsgrove Athletic winger in January and he has been training with the Railwaymen whilst still playing for Leek on loan.
Johnston scored 12 goals in 52 games last season for the North Staffordshire outfit and will be hoping to impress the Crewe coaching staff to gain an extended deal come January.
Whilst playing for Leek, Johnston also featured in a few games for the Alex’s under 21 side which ended up winning the second division for that age group.
Crewe have previous experience in developing non-league players into valuable first team regulars having signed current Blackburn Rovers forward Luke Varney from Midlands side Quorn in 2003.
The Railwaymen’s current left back Jon Guthrie was also plucked from the depths of non-league when he signed for Crewe from Wessex League side Pewsey Vale in 2012.
The 21-year-old played a crucial part Crewe’s survival last season after breaking into the first team.
Crewe Alex’s pre-season fixtures start on July 11th with a trip to local side Norton United before facing Johnston’s old club Leek Town a week later.