Rising New Zealand ‘keeper goes out on loan to English club Chelmsford City

New Zealand U-20 goalkeeper Henry Gray has joined English club Chelmsford City on loan.

Gray (18) is under contract to English Championship club Ipswich Town but the club have loaned him to injury-hit Chelmsford who play in the sixth-tier National League South.

Chelmsford manager Robbie Simpson said Gray had already trained with his squad and “we really like him as a person.”

“He looks to have all the attributes to be a top, top ‘keeper,” he said.

Main photo: Henry Gray … the sixth New Zealander to play for Ipswich Town.

Gray trained with the All Whites during the November international window when they played Greece and Republic of Ireland.

Simpson told Chelmsford’s website: “He is highly regarded at Ipswich and Carl Pentney (Town’s head of academy goalkeeping and a former Chelmsford player) who we know very, very well, said that he is ready for this next stage in his development and playing men’s football.

“Carl thinks that he will be more than capable at being a very good keeper at this level.

“We are very happy to get Henry added to the side and look forward to seeing him between the sticks!”

Gray joined Ipswich Town from Central League club Waterside Karori.

He became the sixth New Zealander to play for Ipswich Town, following Lee Norfolk (1994-97) and All Whites defender Tommy Smith (2007-18), and loan players Rory Fallon (2010-11), Chris Wood (2015) and Monty Patterson (2016-18).

Gray won the Golden Gloves award when playing for New Zealand at the 2022 OFC U-19 Championship in Tahiti, which the side won to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup in Argentina.

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