'˜Maybe I'm a bit of a nutter!' Dion-Curtis Henry has learned to toughen up after going from '˜chubby' kid to Posh keeper doing the business with Boston United
His dad may think he's a '˜nutter', but Dion-Curtis Henry has no regrets about the day he decided to become a goalkeeper.
When the teenager first began training with a nearby boys’ team while growing up near Ipswich, Henry had no ambitions of becoming a professional footballer.
“I went to my local team as as a defender, as I was quite a chubby boy when I was younger,” said the Peterborough United stopper, currently on loan with Boston United.
“I thought I’d just clear balls and kick people. I was about 11.
“But then the goalie missed a training session and they asked me to go in goal for the session.
“I went in goal, dived about, had a good laugh and made a few saves.
“Then the next week they asked me to go in goal. I did it and the next week they asked me to sign as a goalkeeper.
“I thought ‘why not?’. It went from there and I got the bug.
“A few years ago I managed to get scouted by Peterborough, so it’s all come pretty quick.”
Boston is the 19-year-old’s first serious loan spell, but he has quickly adapted to the rigours of the National League North.
“It’s a physical league. My dad always said you’ve got to be a bit of a ‘nutter’ to be a keeper.
“But if the ball comes into my box and I’ve got a chance to get there first I’ll go through everyone else if I have to.
“On the pitch I’m a bit of a nutter, maybe.”
Henry’s long-term ambition is a career in the Football League, but right now he is happy to put himself through a punishing schedule to help him fulfil his goals.
He trains five days a week with the Posh, but also links up with the Pilgrims on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, as well as pulling on the number one shirt on Saturdays.
“It’s tough because I’m training full-time and part-time as well,” he continued.
“If the boys at Peterborough get a day off I don’t get one as I’m training with Boston anyway.
“It’s a lot more tiring, but I’m starting to look after myself better.
“I’m having more naps at home and making sure I’m more relaxed and eating the right stuff and drinking fluids to make sure I can train the best I can.”
And if he was having any doubts, a few words from Peterborough goalkeeping coach Mark Tyler have only acted as an inspiration.
“He said that when he went out on loan when he was younger it was the best thing that ever happened to his career as it pushed him on,” Henry continued.
“I’ve spoken to other pepople who have said exactly the same thing.
“Although it’s tiring it should be worth it in the long run, if I work hard and do my job.”