June 16th, 2024

Veteran defender Doneil Henry named Simcoe County Rovers’ sporting director

By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press on June 4, 2024.

Simcoe County Rovers co-owner and former Toronto FC and Canada defender, Doneil Henry takes a photo of his Canadian Championship medals, laid out to greet players as an inspiration ahead of their training session at BMO field, in Toronto, on Tuesday April 23, 2024. Canadian international Doneil Henry has been named sporting director of League1 Ontario's Simcoe Country Rovers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Canadian international defender Doneil Henry has been named sporting director of League1 Ontario’s Simcoe Country Rovers.

The 31-year-old from Brampton, Ont. is one of several Canada players with an ownership stake in the semi-pro club based in Barrie, Ont. Others include former Canada captains Atiba Hutchinson and Julian de Guzman and current Canadian internationals Janine Beckie and Cyle Larin.

Henry’s appointment helps fills the void left when de Guzman was appointed the New York Red Bulls sporting director in February. De Guzman, one of Simcoe County’s co-founders, held the roles of club president and sporting director.

Peter Raco, also a club co-founder, added the role of president to his CEO duties.

“Since our club inception in 2021, we’ve committed to surround (Simcoe County Rovers FC) with Canada’s top football minds and extend a platform for former Canadian international to continue growing football in Canada,” Raco said in a social media post. “Congratulations, Doneil.”

Henry was front and centre with Simcoe County in April, working with the players when the team faced Toronto FC in a high-profile Canadian Championship matchup. Toronto won the preliminary-round game 5-0.

Simcoe currently stands ninth in the 12-team League1 Ontario standings at 1-3-2.

Henry has won 44 caps for Canada and was named to the 2022 World Cup team, only to be sidelined by a calf injury on the eve of the tournament.

Raco said Henry has yet to make an official comment on retirement as a player.

Henry last turned out for the Canadian Premier League’s Halifax Wanderers, making 14 appearances last season including one as captain.

He had two stints with Toronto FC and also played in Major League Soccer for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Los Angeles FC. Henry also spent time with the Ottawa Fury, South Korea’s Suwon Bluewings, Norway’s AC Horsens and England’s West Ham and Blackburn.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2024.

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