"There wasn't really much going on"; Jack Hendry opens up on Celtic departure

By Euan Davidson

August 10, 2021

Former Celtic defender Jack Hendry has opened up on his Parkhead departure.

Hendry, who enjoyed a revival of fortunes on loan in Belgium last year, joined KV Oostende on a permanent deal this summer [Sun]. According to the Jupiler Pro League star, a lack of direction from the club made his decision an easy one.

Now, things look brighter at Celtic. However, pre-Postecoglou, supporters were incandescent with anger at the club, who spent a long time hiring a permanent manager.

Feeling unappreciated and out of the loop at Celtic, Hendry told the Scots Abroad podcast:

“Celtic’s in the past now. They obviously knew about the clause, how keen Oostende were in activating it. There was just a severe lack of communication on their side. I just thought “do I want to put myself in a position where the club I’d be going back to doesn’t have a manger, there’s not real great communication?

“On the other hand, I’ve got a club out here who are desperate to sign me. Put really good personal terms and stuff in front of me, and it was really difficult to turn down. Especially when, unfortunately, I had a club at home where there wasn’t really much going on.

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“It was a shame. At the end of the day, Celtic’s a massive club. I feel that I could’ve had a really good impact there. Especially this year, obviously if you look at the way it’s panned out.

“The club didn’t have a manager in place. I just feel they didn’t have a structure, and I didn’t want to go back to where I was before I left Celtic.”

Photo by Broer van den Boom/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Jack Hendry opens up on when he realised it was time to leave Celtic

In fairness to Jack Hendry, he doesn’t lack confidence.

The Scotland international spoke with complete belief in his abilities, claiming that Oostende immediately wanted to bring him in permanently.

Hendry said [Scots Abroad Podcast]:

“It was the first couple of games, to be honest, that I knew they wanted to activate [the clause]. I already knew there was conversations being had. Oostende did a bit of very clever business, putting that clause in the deal.

“I think, with them seeing me first-hand, and seeing me in the games, they knew the value of me. They knew, A: that I could obviously add real value to the team, and the way they obviously do their model is bringing young lads in, in a way they felt I could add to their value, helping them on the pitch and off it.

“But also B: getting a player that’s undervalued. Obviously, that happened with Celtic, I depreciated in value. It was a very frustrating time for myself, seeing that happen and not being able to go out on a pitch and show what I was made of, and what I truly can do.

“So it was an extremely frustrating part. I’m probably two or three years behind where I should be at, to be honest.”

Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Belgian excursion probably the best move for all parties

Don’t get us wrong; given how youthful our back-line was against FC Midtjylland, there would’ve been space for Jack Hendry.

However, it doesn’t sound like he’s a sentimental person. He wants what’s best for his career, and to be appreciated. You know what? 100% fair play to the guy.

For Jack Hendry at Celtic, opportunities were either limited, or there was something holding him back. Maybe it was lack of big-game experience, or feeling the pressure of playing in front of 60,000 fans. Ultimately, he gave it a try at Celtic Park. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out.

Now, it sounds like has his confidence back, and he’s unwilling to waste his time on what was an uncertain situation.

Absolutely, his comments paint a chaotic picture at Celtic this summer. However, we all knew how it was. Without a manager, or real changes to the structure of the club, bringing anyone in was a hard sell for a while. Even a player who, technically, was ours.

Both parties move on to exciting new eras.

Read more: Tommy McIntyre beams about Celtic B Team talent