Charlton youngster Aaron Henry has not ruled out a loan return to Wealdstone next season should the opportunity present itself – but is hopeful of being given a chance to impress in the League.
The 18-year-old midfielder has shone since signing on loan for the Stones in February, with his passing ability and set-piece deliveries having earned him praise from Wealdstone boss Stuart Maynard.
Henry, who originally joined the club on a month-long loan which was then extended until the end of the season, has notched several assists during his short stay and scored a fantastic free-kick in the 4-2 defeat at Stockport County last month.
He hopes his loan spell can pave the way for an opportunity in the League next season – whether at parent club Charlton or out on loan – though is also open to the idea of returning to Grosvenor Vale.
“My loan spell has been really good. It was something that I needed,” Henry explained.
“Obviously I was comfortable in the Under-23s so the next best thing if I couldn’t get into Charlton’s first team was to go on loan. Wealdstone seemed like the perfect fit at the time and I’ve really enjoyed it.
“I haven’t really had the discussion yet but I think my performances on loan have warranted an opportunity, maybe, at Charlton next season.
“Obviously it’s down to me to have that conversation with the club. If that isn’t possible then probably another loan at the highest level possible.
“I think, hopefully, the Football League would fit me. I think in 10 games I’ve shown that I’m comfortable at this level. Obviously if that doesn’t play out the way it can then I’d love to come back to Wealdstone.
“But for me personally, it’s a chance to try and play in the Football League as often as possible next season. We’ll see where I end up next year.”
Henry’s set-piece deliveries have helped the Stones secure several important results since his arrival, with the club currently sitting 11 points clear of the National League relegation zone with seven games left to play.
Two of the three goals in last month’s 3-2 win over Weymouth came via Henry’s set-pieces, while he also set up Jack Cook from a free-kick to score the opener in a 2-0 win over Maidenhead.
Asked about the inspiration behind his deadly set-pieces, one name immediately came to mind for the midfielder – who also outlined where he wants to improve during the remainder of his loan spell.
“James Ward-Prowse. I rate him very highly to be honest,” he said.
“I’ve always been quite gifted technically and I’ve always been quite good at set-pieces.
“Probably two years ago now I wanted to try and perfect the technique so I started practising it when I became full-time and it’s definitely one of the biggest threats to my game.
“Scoring goals is something that I’ve wanted to add to my game. Probably off the ball stuff as well.
“Obviously the National League is known as a physical league and that’s one of my areas of development so that’s why the loan was perfect for me and that’s what I’m benefitting from.”