Johnston signs one-year extension

Ben Johnston.
Ben Johnston.

Ben Johnston has signed a one-year extension deal to remain at Halifax until the end of the 2019 season.

The 26-year-old half-back has spent the last five years at the Shay, making 120 appearances.

He joined the club from York in 2014 and last year scored 11 tries in 28 games for Richard Marshall's side.

“I’m signed for my sixth season now and I know that it sounds a little bit cliché but it feels like home here at Halifax," said Johnston.

"I’m really comfortable around all of the coaching staff and all the lads, who make it a really good place to train and play. It was a no-brainer to be staying here for 2019.

"I’m lucky that I’ve got great players around me and obviously it’s my job to assist a few as well as score them, as I've managed to do this year.

"Steve Tyrer’s been on the back of a few, he’s had another good season again.

"Plus, I’ve got Shane Grady playing outside me and I’m really fortunate to have him there, I think he’s probably the best back rower in the competition and he certainly makes my job a lot easier."

Johnston hailed Halifax's achievement of reaching the top-four in 2018 and insists that the team has the belief that they can replicate that feat again next year.

The 26-year-old from Castleford said one of his favourite moments, however, was scoring in front of the Featherstone fans at the Summer Bash.

"To make the top four last year was brilliant. We constantly speak about our togetherness and our team spirit and that really played its part in our success," he added.

"Everyone always writes us off, so there was nothing better than shutting those people up and getting in the top four again.

"A personal highlight of 2018 for me was scoring at the Summer Bash in front of the Featherstone fans, that felt nice, being a Castleford lad.

"The Toulouse win at home when we scored late on and then defended our line, that was great as well.

"It’s obviously our aim now to get into those play-offs in 2019 and I’m sure that we will do.

"With the Super 8s, it was a big ask to be performing against full-time teams week in week out, even though we always gave it our best efforts.

"But, with this system, it will probably come down to two or three games at the end of the season and who knows what might happen?"