Since making his debut for Barnet in a 1-0 win over Torquay United at the beginning of November, 18-year-old left-back Elliot Johnson has cemented his spot in the first team.
The young defender has produced a series of impressive performances and has shown a maturity on the pitch which has impressed Bees head coach Edgar Davids.
“Elliot is doing really well for the team,” the Barnet boss explained. “He can defend and attack. He is developing very well and so quickly.”
When told of Davids’ praise, Johnson said: “He has such good experience so to know that he is giving me compliments is great for me. But in training every day he helps me and all of the other lads in the team out.
“When he speaks you know he isn’t just talking for the sake of it. He knows what he is doing so everything he says to us helps the team.”
Johnson’s rapid development is a testament to the hard work and determination shown by the youngster who left Norwich City at the age of 15 after not being offered a scholarship.
He said: “Leaving was difficult and you can start to doubt yourself and wonder if it is for you.
“I was training with a few teams and just seeing what came my way. Somebody mentioned Barnet and when I came down I really enjoyed it here. So I was local to the area so I thought that I would join the club.
“But coming to Barnet really gave me my confidence back. So since then I have kicked on and worked hard to get to where I am.”
Johnson has made 11 appearances for the Bees this season and is keeping former West Ham United youngster Jordon Brown out of the side.
It is a rivalry Johnson thinks is good for both players and he knows he must continue to put in strong displays to remain in the team.
“I am good friends with Jordan Brown and we have a good rivalry going for the left-back spot,” Johnson said. “He is a good player so I know I have to keep working for my spot.
“But there is no jealousy between us and if one of us are in the team we hope for the best for each other.
“It is a strange feeling as I am still in my first season as a professional but I am in the first team. I am really enjoying it.
“In the last couple of years, when I was a scholar, I was training in and around the first team. So I kind of picked up a few things.
“So it is not that hard to adapt to the first team because we like to pass the ball around. I think it would be more difficult if we were lumping it forward.
“I have been able to use what I have learned in the games I have played.
“The more games I play, the more I continue to learn,” he added.