Celtic-owned Melbourne City defender Jack Hendry has claimed that he still has ambitions to play for Scotland.
That comes despite the fact he’s moved to a league of lower profile in Australia. Hendry didn’t manage to make a single appearance for Celtic this season, and was shipped out with a view to getting regular game-time.
The former Dundee man has started well too. He managed to earn rave reviews after getting a clean sheet in his first game over in Oz.
And it appears as though he’s found some confidence from it after speaking to the media. In comments published by the Scottish Sun, Hendry had this to say on his Scotland hopes:
“I love playing for my country and it is one of the biggest honours in the game. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come out on loan because I want to push to get back into the Scotland set-up.
“My debut against Hungary is one of my proudest moments in the game and playing for my country means the world to me and my family. It is an exciting time for the national team and whether I am involved in the play-offs or not I will be supporting the team.
“The play-offs are a massive opportunity for the team to progress and every top Scottish player will be desperate to be involved. Scotland don’t have a lot of right-sided central defenders just now and I feel I am more than capable of stepping back up to that level again.”
Scotland’s centre-back problems make this a possibility
It’s funny to think that Hendry could go from Celtic outcast to a vital Scotland player in a matter of weeks. However, looking through Steve Clarke’s centre-back options, you’ll do well to find many who can claim they’re any better than Hendry.
In Scotland’s last double-header against Cyprus and Kazakhstan, Clarke went for both Declan Gallagher and Scott McKenna. Truth be told, there’s not much between their level and Hendry’s if anything. He’s also played three times for his country in the past too.
The difference is that our man hasn’t been playing whatsoever this season. In fact, his last competitive senior outing before his Melbourne debut came against Motherwell back in February. Brendan Rodgers was still in charge, showing just how long ago it was.
Make no mistake, there’s work to do for Hendry. He won’t just waltz into the Scotland team because he’s suddenly playing again over the other side of the world. He’ll need to rack up more performances like he managed in his debut.
Celtic will also be keeping a close eye on things. Hendry signed for the club in a £1.5m deal from Dundee back in January 2018 (Daily Record). In those two years at the club, he’s only managed to play on 27 occasions (Transfermarkt). He’s been a flop buy to say the least.
But he’s right to have ambition. This is a golden opportunity for him to get himself some positive PR and boost his profile. Can it lead to a return to the Scotland team? Well, looking at his competition, why not?