It took a bit longer that he would have liked, but Triston Henry has finally been recognized as the CPL’s best goalkeeper.
The Forge FC shot stopper claimed the Canadian Premier League’s Golden Glove, an honour that goes to the league’s top goalkeeper, during a special awards ceremony on Thursday.
Henry, a 27-year-old native of Scarborough, Ont., took home the CPL’s top goalkeeper award by beating out fellow nominees Irving Callum of Pacific FC and HFX Wanderers FC’s Christian Oxner.
The Golden Glove award takes into account the nominees’ performances for the full 2020 CPL season that took place at this summer’s Island Games in PEI. The honour is voted on by a judging panel comprised of media writers and reporters from across Canada.
“It feels good. It’s a great accomplishment to have on your (resume), but I couldn’t do it without my teammates, especially with the great back line that I have, and the coaching staff who gave me the opportunities. Without them I wouldn’t have had this, so I’m very thankful,” Henry told CanPL.ca.
The Golden Glove honour is a major milestone in Henry’s relatively young career – his first match as a professional came on April 27, 2019 in the CPL’s Inaugural Game. Named to Forge’s starting lineup that day ahead of Quillan Roberts, Henry has since asserted himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the league.
The former Sigma FC product currently stands as the CPL’s all-time leader in clean sheets (14) after recording five shutouts in 10 matches at The Island Games, including blanking HFX Wanderers in the final.
Incredibly, Henry wasn’t even nominated for the top goalkeeper award last year, even though he finished tied with Marco Carducci (who won the Golden Glove) for most clean sheets with nine, and among the league leaders in saves.
That nomination oversight fuelled Henry during the 2020 season, as he was determined to prove he deserved to be properly recognized.
“I felt snubbed, to be honest, when you look at what the team accomplished and what I did with those clean sheets, how I helped the team get to the final,” Henry said.
“I think because I didn’t have the same name as other goalkeepers and sort of coming out of nowhere, I think that hurt me last year. But yeah, I felt snubbed.”
He later added: “I had a chip on my shoulder since last year, and I was determined to use that to push myself to be better in 2020 and used it as motivation.”
Forge captain Kyle Bekker pointed to Henry’s shutout performances in both legs of the 2019 CPL Finals, as well as in the final of The Island Games, as evidence of his ability to come up big when it matters the most.
“I’m so happy for him. Seeing his growth in the last few years has been incredible. He was a younger goalkeeper and didn’t have much experience coming into (the CPL). But he’s met the challenge by getting better every single day… He has a fantastic attitude and how he carries himself on and off the pitch says so much about him,” Bekker said.
“He has clean sheets in both CPL Finals, and that’s an unbelievable stat. He’s made some key saves for us in helping us win back-to-back championships; he’s been unbelievable. I’m so proud of him and I don’t think there’s another goalkeeper in this league who deserves the award more.”