On January 18th, San Antonio FC announced that it had signed a pair of first-year professionals. One of them was defender Johnny Fenwick, an Englishman who had become the most decorated men's soccer player in High Point University history over his four-year collegiate career. This season, Fenwick has seen limited playing time, appearing in three games with the Alamo City club, but has been a consistent presence in practice.
Recently, Fenwick talked with KSAT 12 to discuss his journey through soccer, from Newcastle upon Tyne to San Antonio.
How did an Englishman, born in Newcastle upon Tyne, wind up playing soccer in San Antonio?
I left home when I was 15 and I haven't been back since. I've been traveling around since then. I spent three or four years in Sheffield, stayed with a host family and kind of experienced living on my own after that. Then I came to America through the college system and played for High Point University. I played there for four years and just moved on from college to San Antonio.
Did you ever get homesick?
I think my freshman year I got a little bit homesick missing family, missing friends. It was a culture shock, since it's a lot different than back home. But after that, I became pretty comfortable in America. I've been all across the country now and gotten a chance to see different places. I was in Iowa for the PDL (Premier Development League), North Carolina in college and now San Antonio, so I'm used to it now.
How does it feel adjusting to the pros and a new coaching staff?
I actually have previously worked with coach Alen Marcina at Des Moines. I know how he works and he's a great guy. Darren Powell is the same. Working with new coaches is a little different at first, but you kind of just get used to it and you go from there. It's been good.
Is it nice having fellow Brits on the team?
Yeah, it's nice to have Jack (Barmby) and the rest of the English guys. We have similar sense of humors. We connect well, so it's good to have a little bit of that home comfort.
What is your goal for this season?
I'm just trying to break into the team and help in any way I can. I've got to make sure I bring it every day in training and hopefully I can push coach Powell to give me a look. Maybe I'll break into the starting 11.
Do you have any plans to return home?
I'll probably try to get back over the Christmas break so I can see family and friends. That's always nice. Besides that, I'm quite comfortable here. The weather's a lot better than back home.