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Henly Signs and Alabi Offered Deal
Thursday, 20th Aug 2015 14:03

Town boss Mick McCarthy has revealed that the Blues have signed trialist keeper Jonathan Henly on a one-year contract with an option for a further season, while striker James Alabi (pictured), who has scored two goals in two games for the U21s, has been offered a deal.

Henly, 21, has been with the Blues for the last three weeks, as TWTD revealed a fortnight ago, and played the second half of the U21s friendly at Norwich earlier in the month and against Coventry on Monday, keeping a clean sheet on both occasions.

The Woking-born keeper came through the ranks at Reading but failed to break into the Royals’ first team before he was released at the end of last season. He has been capped by Scotland at U19 and U21 levels.

While at the Madejski Stadium 6ft 4in tall Henly spent time on loan at Aldershot, with whom he made six appearances in what’s now the Vanarama National League during 2013/14, Oxford United, where he failed to play a game, and Welling, where he made 26 starts and one sub appearance last season, again in the fifth tier.

Henly is likely to be viewed as potential cover for senior keepers Bartosz Bialkowski and Dean Gerken, while the addition of a third keeper - short-term signing Paddy Kenny having moved on at the end of last season - would allow Michael Crowe, 19, to go out on another loan spell, having spent time at Woking last season.

Alabi, 20, scored in the 2-1 U21s win at Leeds last week and the 3-0 victory over the Sky Blues on Monday.

The Londoner played youth football with Stoke and Celtic before returning to the Britannia Stadium and then spending spells on loan at Scunthorpe (twice), Mansfield, Forest Green Rovers and Accrington Stanley. In January he had a trial with Dutch side De Graafschap. He was also released in the summer.

“Jon Henly has signed and James Alabi I’ve made him an offer,” McCarthy said. “If he wants to take it, great, if he doesn’t we’ll see him at the far post somewhere else!”

Regarding further additions before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, McCarthy says he's in no hurry.

“I just take the view that if some come along that suit me that we can do we’ll do them," he said.

“If the right deal, at the right price for the right player comes up, we’ll do it. There’s a lot of things in that though.

“I’m [not rushing into it], the progress of some of the young ‘uns has helped but then I don’t expect that they’ll play 20 games a season.

“It’s nice when they can just dip their toe in and have a game but relying on them to be in a team when everybody’s asking me about being promoted and finishing in the top two, relying on all those to be part of that, I think that’s a bit pie in the sky, to be honest with you."

The Town boss says no one will be leaving before the window closes, except perhaps for fringe players going out on loan: “None of the ones who are playing are going out, I’m not concerned about that, but there are a couple I wouldn’t mind going out on loan or going out elsewhere, that’s always the case.”

Photo: Action Images

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Fixed_It added 14:06 - Aug 20
So that's the two we've targeted?

DanTheMan added 14:12 - Aug 20
Doubt it, they said we were talking to two clubs I think and these guys are both unattached.

jpring89 added 14:14 - Aug 20
Somehow I can't see this being the two because McGee was 1 of the 2 these two are just back up for the back up surely

miltonsnephew added 14:15 - Aug 20
Strength in depth... Keep them coming Mick.

BlueKush added 14:20 - Aug 20
Great if Henly's arrival allows Crowe to get a loan spell somewhere. Alabi's made an encouraging start and I'd back TC to get the best out of a striker's potential. Sounds like he's a big strong target man so he's got Murphy here to learn from as well.

ElderGrizzly added 14:25 - Aug 20
Not the two being referred to by Ian Milne earlier this week.... ;o)

StirlingArcher added 14:40 - Aug 20
So we now have an alibi to go with our scapegoats... ;)

Good luck to the new signers and hope you make an impression

runningout added 14:56 - Aug 20
wish I could be more enthusiastic ... Not sure these are staying at the top signings, sorry

Marcus added 14:58 - Aug 20
I happened to be there when Phil interviewed Milne. Milne's body language hinted the two (which was more hinted at than specified) signings were first team signings - although one first teamer and one or more fringe player would be possible. The implication was that the first team would be strengthened by two players - Henly seems to be an U21 player, I don't know much about James Alabi but he looks like another U21 player with some potential. I don't feel either of these players are the 'couple of players' he was referring to.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 15:07 - Aug 20
Cool. Maybe a couple more gems unearthed. If not, no real harm done.

osborne added 15:18 - Aug 20
If James Alabi has any sense he should put pen to paper right away. What a chance considering his previous CV

Ryorry added 16:11 - Aug 20
If James Alabi had any sense he should sign to get out of that horrendous kit he's wearing right now!

FenboyBlue added 16:40 - Aug 20
Waiting for an Alabi....

blues1 added 17:06 - Aug 20
nothing negative to be said on this really is there. a keeper signed as cover to allow crowe to go out on loan, and a striker whos done well while on trial, offered a short term deal to see how he does. oh, but then along comes runningout with his normal negative take on things. unbelievable. whether we stay at top or not has nothing to do with these 2 signings as neither are that likely to paly any part at 1st team level this season. why cant you just take these signings for what they are. certainly not signed as 1st team players, that's for sure.

jas0999 added 17:06 - Aug 20
Alanine is a decent layer by all accounts. The keeper will only be third choice to allow Crowe to go out on loan. Still looking forward to two more signings.

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:08 - Aug 20
Alabi lookd like an absolute monster. If he's only 20 or so then sign him up imagine how scary he could be charging at defenders

ChestnutSe added 17:25 - Aug 20
Mick makes me laugh. If he does not sign we will see him at some other far post (or words to that effect) cracking

runaround added 19:16 - Aug 20
Welcome Jonathan & FenboyBlue beat me to it with the Thin Lizzy reference! Hoping we're not waiting for an Alabi for too long though, would have thought he would jump at the chance unless he has an offer elsewhere

hgameritfc added 19:39 - Aug 20
Dont mind new signings to see what they have got but we dont need another target man as Pitman is just that and i believe pitman is better than he gets credited, he wins headers, sets up people like sears on tuesday and needs more playtime!!

cunning_stunt added 23:06 - Aug 20
Who are they trying to fool? It's Frank Nouble making a return.

GiveusaWave added 01:56 - Aug 21
Agree with what other posters have said here.
James Alabi should snap up this chance. He's scored 1 goal so far in his professional career and as a Striker that's not a good record. He really has a chance now to prove himself.
He seems to have done well in his 2 trial games. Maybe he's getting better as he's growing older. Stoke signed him on a 2-year contract a few years back so he must be able to offer something. This is a real chance to resurrect his career.

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