Magpies lock in Johnstone for two more seasons

Sale senior coach Jack Johnstone has signed a contract extension.Photo: Sale FNC Facebook

Josh Farrell

Sale Football-Netball Club has announced a contract extension for senior coach Jack Johnstone, which will result in him remaining at the Magpies until the end of 2023.

Johnstone joined the club in 2021 after crossing from fierce rival Maffra where he played at for three seasons after coming back from Williamstown in the VFL.

In a post on the club’s Facebook page, the Magpies said Johnstone has been an outstanding leader on and off the field, so the decision to extend his contract was an easy one to make for all involved.

Johnstone was able to guide the senior team to seven wins and three losses in his first season at the helm.

“The season being cut short definitely left a funny feeling,”Johnstone said.

His arrival at Sale raised a few eyebrows around the league, but the man himself said he has settled in well and the club had been fantastic.

“I really enjoyed my time at Maffra and have loved my time at Sale … there’s great people at both clubs,” he said.

“I had a heap of help from guys around the club and they have been really supportive.”

Johnstone has brought a wealth of football experience with him to Sale, with a VFL premiership at Williamstown, where he was also named best first year player.

Prior to this he spent time with Gippsland Power in his younger days before coming back to Maffra and playing in its 2019 premiership.

Johnstone believed his time in the VFL was already having a large influence on his coaching methods at the Magpies.

“When you play VFL it’s a massive commitment and the details and the program is something I’ve tried to bring back,” he said.

“I don’t like to waste my time and I don’t like to waste other people’s time, so everything we do — whether it’s weight sessions or drills — we give it our all.”

Johnstone said there was plenty of positives for this side moving forward, with a great mixture of youth and experience.

“We were seven and three (at the end of the season) and we had really good patches, especially after the first few games, we had a few things we needed to improve,” he said.

“We weren’t quite matching it with those top three yet but we definitely had patches where we took it right up to them.

“Jack McLaren and Mitch Bown are two who have benefitted from more game time and are going from strength to strength.

“With the list we have we should be expecting to play finals.”

Reflecting on his first experience as a senior playing-coach, Johnstone said there was one aspect that stood out.

“The biggest adaption to the role was just the bigger workload,” he said.

“Normally on a Sunday I could relax, but now I am really busy.”

Sale will be hoping Johnstone can bring the success he experienced at the Eagles to the Magpies for their first premiership since 2012.