Johnson relishing new challenge

Women's & Girls' Managing Director begins position at the club.

By Heather Miller • 06 February 2023

By Paul Hazlewood
Zoe Johnson joins Albion as Managing director for the Women's & Girls'.

Zoe Johnson officially joined Brighton and Hove Albion last week following five seasons at Sheffield United where she was head of women's football.

“It’s really exciting, everyone has been lovely since I first started. It’s been a long few weeks waiting to get going but it’s been a brilliant few days," she said. 

“I’ve had a good few months to process and think of things I want to bring to the role as well. That time has been useful to have a look at the team and the things that have been going well for Brighton currently."

She brings a wealth of experience to Albion, having held roles as RTC technical director at Liverpool, women’s first-team manager at Sheffield FC and for several years coaching both boys and girls of all ages at Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers. 

She added, “This was my fifth season at Sheffield United so I have a lot of experience off the field in terms of business and operations. Before that I’d always been on the grass.

"I’ve also been a head coach and a technical director in the women’s game, I feel that coming into this role as a managing director I have a lot of experience both on and off the field which I’ll hopefully be able to utilise moving forward."

After Zoe's five seasons at Sheffield United, she admitted that it was going to take something special to leave the club but believes Brighton was the right move both on a professional and personal level.

“It's a club that I’ve really enjoyed being at. It was a really exciting challenge. Where the club wants to go, the standards it has set and their professionalism meant it was a no-brainer for me to make the move and transition for myself.

“I’ve never lived outside Lancashire either and it’s something that will be really exciting for me. I’m definitely from the north that’s for sure but that’s something I’m ready to embrace and I think it’ll be a really good change for me."

Head coach Jens Scheuer joined the club at the end of last year and Zoe is eager to work with the German as they look to build on the positive structure in the women's department. 

“I’m really looking forward to working with Jens. It seems like he’s settled in really well himself. It is an exciting time at the club and to have two core roles changing at the same time can only be a positive thing. Hopefully, we can implement some change and be successful moving forward.

“Ultimately, the main vision is to get the club to the top four in the WSL. There is a lot of work that needs to be done off the field to make sure that happens and there is a lot of work that needs to be done on the field which Jens has already started. 

"It’s going to be a really exciting time going into the summer and trying to progress next season in terms of things that we can implement collectively on and off the field to try and achieve that top-four vision."

By Paul Hazlewood
Johnson joins Albion as Managing Director from Sheffield United.

Zoe is the club's first Managing Director of Women's and Girls' football.  “It professionalises it like the men’s side,"she added. "It’s a key sign of the investment that the club are willing to try and progress the women’s team. I’ve also seen the facilities and witnessed how inclusive things are with the men’s and women’s teams and it’s been really exciting.

“[The facilities] definitely gives the club a platform to go and perform, there are no excuses when they’ve got these facilities to use every day. They should relish that opportunity and it will help them put in the performances that we need to achieve that top-four vision."