Know Your Athlete, Sports

Know Your Athlete: Victor Henry

Victor Henry, U2 Science and the second goalkeeper for the McGill men’s soccer team, was born in Washington, D.C. and started playing soccer when he was only four years old. After moving to Paris at the age of five, he continued playing, but struggled to excel—until he tried his hand as a goalkeeper.

“My mother is the one who actually suggested to my coach that I should try out goalkeeping. She thought that is where I should be,” Henry said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “As soon as I started, I realized that that is where I had true potential. So I have been goalkeeping ever since.”

Henry became a part of the McGill team this season after being unable to play at McGill last year due to a delay in his study permit. After participating in the training camp over the summer, he was selected to join the team.

“It’s impressive how serious and professional the team is, especially in contrast to facilities and teams in France, which are much less valued,” Henry said. “The team gets along extremely well and is hardworking, which adds to the level of professionalism.”

Henry attributes much of his positive experience with the Redbirds to his coaches. Both Michael Palomo, the goalkeeper coach, and Marc Mounicot, the team’s head coach, are consistent with their advice and expectations, which Henry says has helped him fulfill his potential as a keeper.

As a player with lots of experience in several roles on the pitch, Henry feels that being a goalie is a unique position. It does not require the same skill set or aptitudes as other players as the coordination and the endurance needed are not the same.

“As a goalkeeper, my role is quite different than [that] of my teammates,” Henry said. “I have to communicate with my defenders and centerbacks, as I’m the only player who has a view of the whole field. It’s an aspect of my role that I really enjoy.”

The highlight of the season for Henry was undoubtedly the supporters: Nothing fuels an athlete like an enthusiastic crowd. Out of all his supporters, Henry says the best encouragement comes from his parents.

“In terms of supporters, my parents are my biggest fans,” Henry said. “They have attended my games throughout my whole life and even came to Montreal at the beginning of the year to watch me play. They also watch the games on the McGill streaming service.”

Currently pursuing a joint major in mathematics and computer science, Henry hopes to work in software engineering after graduation. With these big dreams, Henry has adapted his schedule around the team’s hours, working in the afternoon before practice and then making time to relax with friends. 

“I think having a good discipline in terms of organization is what allows me to do all these things,” Henry said. “My roommates and I are into basketball, so it’s typical for me to come back from school after having studied and been to practice and just watch an NBA game with them.”

Henry is also a big fan of the French National Team and was delighted when they won the Nations League. His favourite players are goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, N’Golo Kanté, and Karim Benzema. He also supports both Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

Henry hopes that the men’s soccer team will make it to the playoffs next year, with the aspiration of reaching nationals. He is currently very happy with his position and is looking forward to getting back to training with the team. 

Any soccer fan should keep an eye out for Victor Henry in the following years. If his shutout game against UQAM—where he made seven saves and stopped two penalties—is any indication of his talent, the goalkeeper is set for some impressive performances in the future.

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