Brennan Johnson is yet to kick a competitive ball in anger for Nottingham Forest.

That is important to remember.

For all of the talk of famous fathers and potential for the future, here is a youngster who turned 18 on May 23.

He has been ‘a man’ – if age is your determinate of choice there – for a little over 24 hours.

Pressure is the last thing he needs.

If potential is to be fully unlocked, then he needs time and the freedom to express himself.

Most likely within the U23 set-up.

Senior opportunities are being mooted, though, and he will be involved in the Reds’ summer preparations.

Johnson has told the club’s official website: “I’m really looking forward to going on pre-season tour with the first team. It will be great to train and play with such experienced players and I’m just grateful to the manager for giving me the chance to show what I can do.

“Nothing is certain in football but I just want to show what I can do next season.

“Knowing that I’ve got the support of the manager and his staff is really good and it gives me extra confidence moving forwards.”


(Photo by Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images)

If he needs any advice about making his mark, or where the back of the net is, then Johnson has the perfect sounding board in father David – the last man to hit the 20-goal mark for Forest.

“My dad is a really good influence on me,” he added.

“He’s always giving me advice and telling me what I should be doing and it has been good to actually see him do it himself.

“It would be a dream come true for me to play for the first team because I’ve lived in West Bridgford all my life and I’ve watched Forest since I was young so I would love to make my debut at some point.”

Home-grown talent is always embraced.

Be that at the City Ground or Camp Nou.

Fans around the world feel greater affinity with those who have come through the ranks.

Forest boast a rich history when it comes to unearthing ‘one of our own’.


Not all graduates can be a success though.

There have not been all that many forwards to have made the step up from youth team enigma to senior star down the years.

Garry Birtles was a local boy done good.

Good enough to win two European Cups.

Nigel Clough emerged from the shadow of father Brian to become an England international.

Marlon Harewood’s power and pace endeared him to many, even if the end product could be a little erratic, and Oliver Burke’s star burned brightly for a brief period of time.

More recently, Ben Brereton and Tyler Walker have offered promise but struggled to truly deliver on it, while Matty Cash and Arvin Appiah remain works in progress.

Into which camp will Johnson fall?

Will he be more Birtles than Brereton?

Time will tell and the hope remains that Forest have unearthed another rough diamond.

The polishing process appears set to begin in 2019, with an attacking wideman who netted 14 times for the U23s in 2018-19 seeking to become the next Johnson to make his mark on Trentside.

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