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  • Jack Hendry: Paradise is a perfect fit for me

    Jack Hendry: Paradise is a perfect fit for me

    By: Mark Henderson on 02 Feb, 2018 09:52

  • JACK Hendry insists that moving to Celtic was a no-brainer – despite a number of clubs being interested in his services.

    The highly-rated centre-half completed his move from Dundee to the Scottish champions on Wednesday night, alongside club colleague Scott Bain, with minutes to spare of the winter transfer window.

    And he revealed that the possession-based, attacking approach of Brendan Rodgers’ side, along with the winning mentality required of a Celtic player, were among the reasons why Paradise was a perfect fit for him.

    “There was a lot of interest from down south as well but to be honest there was only one place I wanted to come and that was Celtic,” said the 22-year-old. “The coaching staff, the squad, the facilities and the fan-base tick all the boxes for me.

    “I'm looking to strive in this kind of environment. I see myself as a winner and there is a winning mentality here so this is definitely something I want to be part of and I feel that it suits me well.

    “I feel the style of play helps my game and it was a massive attraction to come here and hopefully that will compliment the team as well so it was a perfect fit really.

    “There is a lot of experience here, a lot of boys to learn from and the coaching staff as well, so it’s a perfect environment to come in, learn my trade and kick on.”

    It was a tense deadline day for Hendry as he nervously waited to see if his transfer to the Hoops would be finalised in time.

    “It was worth it though,” said the defender. “It wasn’t the most enjoyable experience at the time and it was very long, but we got there in the end so that was the most important thing.

    “It’s been ongoing since the start of the window so it’s been quite a bit of time and for it to come down the last day was a bit frustrating but, as I said, the most important thing is that it’s done.”

    Although Hendry is still in the early stages of his football career, he is already a well-travelled professional. The new Bhoy started his senior career at Partick Thistle, before heading down south to join Wigan Athletic. He then spent periods on loan with Shrewsbury Town and MK Dons, returning to Scottish football last summer with a move to Dundee.

    The player had mixed experiences during his time in English football, but he believes this will stand him in good stead as he settles into life at Celtic.

    “It was a bit of a frustrating time but I always believed in my ability and where I could go,” said Hendry. “When those times are hard you just have to believe in yourself and remain positive.

    “I definitely felt something like this would happen but obviously the quicker it has happened, the better, so I’m really pleased.

    “I felt I learned a lot in that period of time. At times, it wasn’t enjoyable but sometimes you learn a lot in those times, and I felt I became a better person on and off the pitch.

    "When I went down at the time it seemed a good move, it didn’t pan out to be that for certain reasons, but I am just looking forward now and really pleased it has ended up here. It probably couldn’t have gone any better to be honest.”

    First, Hendry will be aiming to break into the Hoops starting XI but he also harbours ambitions to star in the UEFA Champions League and represent his country.

    “That’s where you want to play and that’s another reason why I have come here, to play on those stages, and if I fulfil my ability then it’s definitely a stage where I will look to play on.

    “The international stage is where you want to play and I fully believe I can do it but it’s up to me now to show I am capable of doing that and there is no better stage in doing that than Celtic Football Club. There is a great squad here and what they have achieved recently with all the records has been amazing, so it won’t be an easy task but I am definitely up for it.

    “That’s up to me to work hard, get my head down and strive to get into that team, and hopefully once I am in, I will stay in it. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think I would be able to do it.”

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