Henderson '09 signs with Swedish soccer club
Jessica Griffen / The Dartmouth Senior Staff
Dartmouth men’s soccer team’s co-captain and last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year Craig Henderson ’09 has signed for Mjällby AIF, a soccer club in Sweden, on a three-year contract.
Henderson will begin playing for his new team in January, and will not be attending the Major League Soccer pre-draft 2010 adidas Player Combine, to which he was one of 62 college seniors invited.
“I was weighing up other options, but I always wanted to go to Europe and see what I could do there and try to improve and make a career out of it,” Henderson said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
Henderson hails from Wellington, New Zealand, and was a member of New Zealand’s national team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
Henderson said that he hasn’t really considered going back home to play soccer.
“I didn’t really want to go to New Zealand, because it’s not a place where you can make a living out of playing [soccer],” he said.
Henderson will follow in the footsteps of Dartmouth keeper Sean Milligan ’09, who was also invited to the MLS player combine in 2009, but went to play in Europe. Milligan made his professional career debut for Greenock Morton FC in Scotland this past summer.
Henderson said that continuing to play soccer after his Dartmouth career was always his goal, and will now have the chance to do so at Mjällby AIF.
Mjallby is currently in first place in Superettan — the second-highest league in Sweden — and will be promoted to Allsvenskan, the highest league, for the 2010 season.
Henderson will be making the transition to professional soccer after a tough season at Dartmouth, due to a heel injury he picked up in an overtime victory over Yale University on October 10. After missing the next six games, Henderson made his return to the field in a 3-0 defeat to Brown, and ended the season playing only 11 matches.
Despite being sidelined for a large portion of the season, Henderson still finished third in the team standings with four goals and four assists, and a cumulative 12 points. Striker Lucky Mkosana ’12 and co-captain Dan Keat ’10 finished above him, with 20 and 22 points, respectively.
Henderson captained the 2008 Big Green team to an Ivy League championship, and was unanimously named to the All-Ivy First Team and was the Ivy League Player of the Year.