Jack Hendry credits Celtic schooling for meteoric rise
Former Celtic defender Jack Hendry has credited his time at Parkhead as being key for his meteoric rise into becoming a Champions League footballer.
Hendry was signed by Brendan Rodgers from Dundee back in January 2018. However, despite being given several runs in the team, Hendry failed to impress. He was quickly sent out on loan to KV Oostende last season, where he shone and attracted a host of admirers.
Celtic included an option to buy agreement in Hendry’s Oostende loan, and it was quickly taken by the club. Club Brugge would then swoop in and sign him from there, giving the player an opportunity to play Champions League football this season.
Indeed, he’ll be in Europe’s top competition against the likes of Man City and PSG this season. And despite not making it at Parkhead, he viewed it as an important part of his footballing education.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Hendry said: “I have had a lot of setbacks and you have to be strong mentally in football. You take the knocks and if you play with big clubs then you need to handle criticism.
“Thankfully I have learned from that and I am now at a great club in Club Brugge. Celtic was a big club and it was a hard schooling there, but it’s put me in a great place now. Anyone that goes out there and puts negative vibes towards me, I use that as motivation.
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“I believe in myself, I believe in my own ability. You don’t get the couple of moves I’ve had if you’re a bad player. All I needed was game time to prove myself and I got that at Oostende last season. Hopefully this shows that when I get games at a club that believes in me I can produce. And I think that showed with the move I got, going into a really exciting chapter with Club Brugge.”
Celtic fans will watch Jack Hendry progress with interest
Firstly, there’s no denying Hendry wasn’t ready for first-team action at Celtic last term. Sending him out on loan to Oostende was ideal. Putting the option-to-buy also made real sense at the time. We were at a stage where supporters were just wanting him out of the club and off the wage bill.
It’s difficult to then turn around after a good season with Oostende and say we got things wrong with him. It was the right move to make for the club at the time. It’s not as if we’re actively regretting it either.
Operating at Oostende’s level compared to Celtic is night and day. Hendry won’t have had the same expectation on him in Belgium as he did at Parkhead.
And that’s what makes the move to Brugge interesting. Hendry will indeed now be playing with a pressure of winning and performing every week. Brugge will expect to reclaim the Belgian title this season whilst showing up well against some of the best sides in Europe.
How he copes against that level of quality will tell us a lot. If he’s keeping the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Kevin de Bruyne out? That makes you look at things differently.
But Ange Postecoglou clearly didn’t think he was needed. Just because Hendry had a big year last season doesn’t mean he’s proved anyone wrong. His rise to UCL competitor can’t be ignored, but it’s how he fares in that competition that will tell us much about where he’s at currently.