Get To Know: Triston Henry
Welcome back to a series that lets us get to know the human behind the footballer. After launching with Mikael Cantave, we’re proud to release a get to know segment on Forge FC goalkeeper and three-time CPL champion Triston Henry.
Part One – How I met Triston Henry
Triston Henry was signed to Forge FC in February 2019, but for you to know our whole story, I need to bring you back to a Saturday night in 2018, more precisely on June 30th. There was no Canadian Premier League at the time but I was shooting as many matches as possible. That day, I was invited to photograph an all-star game between PLSQ and League1 Ontario – little did I know, it would be the first time I would see Triston Henry in action.
Since that night, we’ve had a few exchanges through social media: the first time I tagged him in a picture, the day I congratulated him on his professional contract, when Forge FC won a first championship… and a second. It was hard for me to understand who he really was underneath the surface, past the little he allowed people to see, but as we got closer in 2022, I realized he could actually be a friend, a real one. I don’t think I ever had a conversation with Triston where he didn’t make me laugh and I also know that if I ever need someone in my corner, he will be there. The main reason why I wanted to feature him in this series is that everyone should have the same chance I had to see who’s really underneath the Forge FC number one and meet the human behind the footballer.
Part Two – The 20 Completely Random Questions
1: What made you fall in love with football?
I don’t know, I just started playing for fun and I used to watch it on TV. I fell in love with Arsenal, I fell in love with Thierry Henry and I think from there I’ve always played, I’ve always watched it and it has always been a part of my life I guess.
2: What was the turning point that made you decide you wanted to be a goalkeeper?
I used to be a striker until I was about around 12 and then I went like 2 years without scoring a goal; I was just fast so then I was like ‘OK, maybe this is not for me!’ But honestly, I don’t know how it happened. I think one day I just put on the gloves and tried it. My favorite was Buffon, I always followed him and watched his videos. So yeah – I used to be a striker and it didn’t work out… I wish I had a better story to tell you!
3: What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of so far?
I think it would be winning the CPL championship the first year. Being a brand new league, not knowing much about it and to be written in history as the first team and the first goalkeeper to ever win it, I think that’s pretty huge and I will always be in the history book for that.
4: If football wasn’t part of your life at all, which path would you have taken?
I wanted to be a detective so I went to school in the States and graduated with a Criminal Justice degree so I think I would’ve continued with that. I always wanted to be a homicide detective, I love to investigate.
5: Do you have any rituals on game day?
I wake up early, I always have breakfast, I listen to the same playlist, I pray before every game and I always chew gum during games, I have to. Oh and I always have a pack of Skittles. Every game I have a pack of Skittles and I eat it on the bus; I only get the red pack and I have to get a handful with every single color. The Skittles ritual started when I was young, before I even went to college, every time I had a game I’d go buy a bag at the dollar store. If it’s an away game, I either buy it before I leave or the night before the game. I’ve never played a game without Skittles, even for Concacaf I had to buy them before we flew out of the country. And I only buy the single bag, not the big one, so every game is a new pack.
6: You’re playing a 5-on-5 and the team has to be made with players you’ve shared the pitch with. You need to include a goalkeeper, so yourself, who else are you calling up?
Obviously me as a goalkeeper. I’m going to put Mo Babouli up top; I think he’s one of the best strikers in the league and one of the best strikers I’ve ever played with. I’m adding Daniel Krutzen because he’s the best ball-playing defender. Tristan Borges; he’s a left footed guy, creative and he can provide for Mo. And the last one I’m going with Cisse, Elimane Cisse. He can attack, he can defend and put in some tackles for me.
7: What’s the difference in your mindset when there’s a penalty called against you during a game versus the game ends and then you’re going to penalties?
I think that when a penalty happens during the game, I don’t feel as much pressure. In a way I’m not really expected to save it so I kinda don’t put that pressure on myself. When it comes to a penalty shootout, I feel the pressure a lot more. Everyone is watching, you have 5 opportunities and you have to save one out of the 5; I always feel that I have to at least save one. There’s also the possibility that I can shoot and when I shot the last time, you know what happened, so….
8: Do you have a nickname? If so, where does it come from?
Everyone calls me ‘G’. I had this nickname since I was at UConn and then, I don’t know how it happened. I would just call everyone ‘G’ like I’d be ‘Yo what’s up G?’ and people just started to call me ‘G’. Now wherever I go my name is ‘G’ – I don’t even answer to Triston. If I hear Triston, I know I’m in trouble.
9: How would your friends describe you?
I should let you answer that! I think my friends would say I’m a nice guy, a good guy, but one that talks a lot of shit.
10: What’s one thing that can instantly make your day better?
Food, like junk food. A burger, some chicken wings – anything that is not good for me would make my day better. Oh and candy, candy for sure!
11: Do you have any tattoos? Which one is your favourite and what’s the meaning behind it?
I have a whole sleeve built with maybe 9 tattoos, something like that. The most meaningful is on my forearm; I have 3 roses and they are for the women in my life. My mom, my sister, and my grandma who helped raise me.
12: According to you, what first impression do people have when they meet you?
I don’t know, that’s tough. I feel like they think I’m shy maybe, no not shy. Introverted? I joke around a lot though!
13: What’s the best advice a family member has given you?
When I was young, my mom always had a saying, a Jamaican one, and it said ‘see an blind, hear an deaf.’ It basically just means to keep your head down whether people are talking about you, mind your business in a way. Just stay lowkey and out of trouble.
14: From my point of view, and I don’t know if it’s because you’re a Forge FC player, but I feel like you’re sometimes seen as the CPL villain – how do you handle criticism?
I don’t know, I think people see me from the outside and they just listen to what other people say. Most of the time, I feel like some of them have a negative outlook on me and people just go with it instead of making their own judgment. I don’t really care to be honest, I mean this is me.
15: What do you look for in a friend?
Someone loyal, someone I can trust. Someone who shares my sense of humor and can handle the jokes.
16: You’re stuck on a desert island with someone and that person has to be a player that played for Forge FC. Who do you want to be stuck with and why?
Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson, I have to go with Alex. He’s European, he travels a lot. I feel like he backpacked through Europe and stuff like that. I know he’ll keep us alive – I trust Alex with my life, I do!
17: What are you afraid of?
Snakes. They’re just weird, they have no legs and they have two eyes on the top of their body. How are you just sliding on the ground like that? So weird!
18: You’re given the opportunity to either go back to a moment in time or to see a moment in the future, what are you choosing and why?
I’d say back in time. I feel like sometimes, in the moment, you don’t relish things that are in front of you and they might never happen again. But now to which moment – I think I’d go back to when I was at university. It was the best time of my life, it was fun and I wish I could’ve done more. I enjoyed it enough but I feel like I could have made more out of it.
19: Who is Triston Henry going to be once he’s done being a professional footballer?
He’s gonna be a GM of a club, that’s who he’s gonna be. I know that when I’m done, I wanna go on the business side of the game – not coaching, I’m not into that.
20: Who inspires you?
My mom. She raised me and my sister alone, she works hard as a nurse and she always worked hard since we were young. She teached me the value of hard work and love and providing.
Bonus question: What’s your definition of happiness?
Being in a good place. Being around your people, your family, your friends that love and support you – do the same for them. Doing something you enjoy everyday and being able to provide and take care of your family.
Header Image Photo Credit: Audrey Magny