Brentford defender Rico Henry believes that the disappointment of missing out on a place in the England squad for the Under-20 World Cup this summer through injury will only serve to spur him on ahead of the new campaign.
The defender, who turned 20 on Saturday, was forced to withdraw from Paul Simpson’s squad, which went on to win the tournament in the Far East, because of a knee injury. Now, back in full training, Rico said he wants to turn that frustration into performances on the pitch when the new season gets underway in less than four weeks’ time.
“Physically I feel good,” said Rico, speaking to iFollow after the second full day of training in France. “I am back fit having got injured just before the season finished. I am back and looking forward to the season. It gives me confidence [being named in the England Under-20 squad] and motivates me to do better. It also gives me a lot of hunger going into the league season.”
The Bees flew out to their week-long Training Camp on the French/Swiss border on Saturday. After arriving late that evening, the team have been worked hard during their first two days of training. Having not experienced a camp like this previously, Rico said he is enjoying the experience as well as the tough training.
“It is going well even though it is difficult,” said Rico. “We haven’t come here for a holiday. I haven’t been on tours before but it is good because it gets the team together and builds relationships. Every day has been tough so far: we haven’t come here to chill or anything but what we are doing is good. We have been working on a lot of pressing which is important because we do that during the games. We have also been doing long distance running which we will need in the games.”
Rico is part of a strong former-Walsall contingent in the Brentford group alongside Head Coach Dean Smith, Assistant Head Coach Richard O’Kelly, and midfielder Romaine Sawyers. Injury restricted Rico to just 12 Sky Bet Championship appearances last season but, from what he saw, he feels he has much more to come and believes Dean will be the right man to get that out of him.
“As long as I do my best and try 100 per cent in every game I feel that we could do well,” said Rico. “Dean gives me confidence going into games and he motivates me a lot so I always go into the games feeling ready. I do feel I have so much more to come. I am just at the start of my career. I have only had one full season at Walsall so far so I feel there is a lot more to come.”