Dean Thornton has every faith that Will Henry’s current exploits on the international stage will serve him well in the future with Swindon Town.
The talented keeper is currently away in Spain with England U19’s as they get ready for the UEFA U19 European Championships, which begin on Sunday 2nd July 2017.
Henry will be hoping to do enough over the next few days in order to put himself in the frame for a place in the final squad but, whatever happens, Thornton is confident that this experience will make his young protégée an even better player.
“Eric Steele (Goalkeeping Coach at The FA) came in to the club about a month before the end of the season to have a look at Will and to see what he does in training and to get to know the player as well,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk.
“He’s been on their radar for a while and he obviously got the opportunity to play in our first-team for a couple of games, did okay and it has given him the platform now to go on to the England set-up and do well there.
“Knowing Will as well as I do, he wants to work hard every day and we spoke about the fact that he could be involved in the England set-up this summer and he was more than happy with that because he knew he would be doing more training with very good coaches and very good players.
“The character that Will has means that he wants to improve all the time and he wants to play with better players, so that is only going to drive him on and make him better in the future for Swindon Town.
“Eric Steele for me is one of, if not the best Goalkeeping Coach in the country and he’s been up there for a number of years now.
“So when Will comes back I’ll have a chat with him about the camp and I’ll be trying to find out what Eric has done with Will for my benefit as well, so it can only help myself and help Will improve for next season.”
And Thornton revealed what one bit of advice he would give Will as the young stopper bids to make the final England U19’s squad for next month’s Euros.
“My advice would be just be yourself, Will because the boy is unbelievable, his character is fantastic and his work-rate is superb,” he continued.
“His work-rate is probably the best I’ve seen since I’ve been a coach and I’ve been coaching for twelve years, so I wouldn’t really give him too much advice because he’s done everything on his own merit.
“We speak every day and we talk about training, we talk about what we’re going to do and Will is always asking questions and you can tell the character of the boy because he wants to ask you questions at 18-years-old.
“He wants to know because he wants to know how much it is going to help him and I honestly couldn’t give him any more advice other than just be yourself and do what you’ve done all year with me at Swindon.”
Finally, and back to matters closer to home, Thornton was delighted with the appointment of David Flitcroft as Town’s new Manager and he now can’t wait to get back to work.
“It is brilliant that we’ve announced a manager and we’ve come across David this year when he was at Bury,” he added.
“When I met him after the game he was very nice and he was very polite about the way we played, so it is good to have him in.
“I’ve spoken to him over text and we’re all looking forward to the season and hopefully getting back up to League One.”