West Ham United moved quickly at the start of the transfer window to secure the services of exciting young prospect Doneil Henry. He became the first signing of the January transfer window for West Ham and here are five things you may not have known about our latest acquisition:
1) Henry only started playing football when he was 10 years old, after his parents moved to Canada from Jamaica. He played youth soccer for the Brampton Bullets and North Mississauga. Despite starting to play football fairly late in his childhood, Henry joined the Toronto FC Academy in November 2008 – only five years after he first started playing.
2) Henry will need no introduction to some of the players in the Upton Park dressing room, as he has already had two previous stints on trial with the club. One of those trials came prior to the 2014 MLS season last January. The defender has made it clear throughout his career that he wants to play in the Premier League and Sam Allardyce, thanks to the advice of his former Blackburn Rovers captain Ryan Nelsen, decided to take a look at him. Despite being impressed by the young defender, Big Sam decided that it was too soon to take a chance on Henry
3) Despite only being 21, Henry has already won some silverware in his career. While with Toronto FC, Henry won the Canadian Championship three years in a row – between 2010 and 2012. This was before the Canadian club joined Major League Soccer. Henry has also been rewarded individually, as in 2012 he was named the Canadian Under-20 Player of the Year.
4) Henry was capped six times by the Under-20 Canadian international team. He has also won three caps for the Under-23 international side, where he has scored once. Henry was selected for the Under-23 roster to partake in the 2012 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. It was in this tournament, against the USA, that Henry scored his only international goal to date. On August 15, 2012, Henry earned his first cap in a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago. The match ended in a 2-0 victory for Canada. On June 27, 2013, Henry was listed as part of the confirmed 23-man squad for Canada’s 2013 Gold Cup squad.
5) Henry joins the Irons from Cypriot first division side Apollon Limassol. He only left Canada for Cyprus in October 2014, meaning he was only with the club for less than three months. Apollon Limassol, who are participants in this season’s Europa League competition, signed the right-back for an undisclosed fee. B