U’s new boy aims to score like Shearer
COLCHESTER United signed Liam Henderson on loan to add some clinicality to their strike force this week.
And if the confident young Geordie goes just a fraction of the way to emulating the man he models his game on then the U’s have certainly found their man.
The Gateshead-born 20-year-old grew up as a Newcastle United season ticket holder, but despite playing for the same junior side as Paul Gascoigne there is only one Magpies legend in his eyes.
“Alan Shearer is my absolute idol, you just can’t beat him” said the U’s new boy following his arrival from Championship club Watford.
“I mould my game on him. I like to hold up the play, get into the box and score goals.”
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That statement may raise a few eyebrows amongst those who have studied Henderson’s goal-scoring record to date, with the 6ft front man having failed to score in 21 appearances for The Hornets and a further nine appearances on loan at League One side Hartlepool in 2008/9.
Those stats are rather misleading though, with just two of those 30 appearances having come from the start and the majority of his substitute displays coming late on in games.
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Perhaps more illuminating is his record as a starter for Watford’s reserves. Last season that read 29 goals in 44 games, including a hat-trick against a Colchester United second string.
“Over the last two seasons I’ve been on the first team bench more or less every game, but it can be difficult when you are coming on for five or 10 minutes here and there,” said Henderson.
“I’ve been working hard on getting out on loan for a while because I need to play first team football.
“Playing in the Football League is completely different to reserve team football. It just means so much more.”
Aidy Boothroyd, the man who persuaded Henderson to sign for Watford rather than West Ham as a teenager, expressed an interest in bringing him to Colchester on loan last season.
And while Watford boss Malky Mackay said he wasn’t ready to let the young forward out at that time, he did promise the U’s they would have first option on him when he was ready to do so.
Henderson signed a new deal at The Hornets in the summer, however the arrival of Troy Deeney from Walsall for �500,000 pushed him down to fourth in the forward pecking order meaning the U’s could finally get their man.
– Full article in today’s EADT with a two-page match preview of Colchester’s trip to Southampton in tomorrow’s paper.