Celtic defender Jack Hendry questioned whether he had had a “fair opportunity” at the club before rekindling his hopes of a Scottish recall with an impressive loan spell in Belgium this season.
Hendry, who played in Celtic academy before joining the club under Brendan Rodgers in January 2018, made 27 appearances over two years for the Scottish side of the Premiership before being loaned to Australian side Melbourne City in January 2020.
A knee ligament injury limited him to two games in Down Under, and unable to impress Neil Lennon at Celtic before the current season, he signed on to another loan, this time at KV Oostende.
The 25-year-old came out on top with the Belgian squad, which surpassed expectations as they contested the European qualification, taking fourth place – just two points behind second-placed Royal Antwerp after 29 games.
Meanwhile, Celtic are set to hand over the Scottish Premiership title to Rangers for the first time in 10 seasons, with manager Neil Lennon resigning in February.
“I always thought that at Celtic I always thought that I could have a real impact on the team, being also Scottish,” said Hendry. Sky Sports News.
“Obviously maybe a little disappointed with how it turned out, but first of all I have to look at myself about it, how it went and how it didn’t quite work out the way I did. wished so.
“But at the same time, you obviously have to ask questions like, ‘Did I have such a fair opportunity as maybe I should have had?’ These are obviously questions that you can always look back at, but at the time I needed to look at myself, and I did.
“I think to come back this preseason I needed to start, I needed to do something with my career because it was just potential, and I felt that when I went to Celtic , it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, and I was really determined to go and show people that I was a good footballer and I was at this club for that reason.
“Watching from afar this season hasn’t been easy to watch, because obviously it’s been a tough season for themselves, and of course the way I play by the minute I think I could have had a very good impact on the side.
“With the difficult years I spent at this club it made me a lot harder mentally, I think it made me a better person and I moved to the other side and now I have a good streak of matches together, I want to play at this level again, I want to push myself, I just feel like I needed to get my confidence back and get my mojo back. “
“ I have the capacity to play for Scotland ”
After impressing at club level by joining Celtic in 2018, Hendry has been included in several Scottish teams and made three international appearances in that calendar year, but has not returned to the squad since.
Steve Clarke, who has been linked with work at Celtic since Lennon left, took over the national team in May 2019 and guided them to the European Championships this summer, and a recent system change has given Hendry back the hope for a recall.
The three-man center defense Clarke employed reflects the system in which Hendry thrived during his time in Belgium, and the center-back is hoping his performances caught the manager’s attention ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against the Austria, Israel and the Faroe Islands. later in March.
“I think it really suits my style of play, playing three,” said Hendry. “I feel like I can play on everyone, so whether it’s the left, the middle or the right – just the way I play, I think that’s a really good position for me.
“I feel like I could add value and I’ve worked really hard this season, in the off season, to put myself in a position where I can maybe tell myself that I can be worthy of it.
“I know I still have a really long way to go to achieve the best of myself, that’s obviously just before I was maybe potential and that turns that potential into reality, and shows people to how good a person is, first of all i’m off the pitch, but also how good i’m with football.
“So I think playing with a three at my club will hopefully help me in this international stage because that’s something I’m striving towards.”
“It was my biggest achievement in my career so far playing for Scotland and I’m desperate to put this jersey back on because obviously I’m a proud Scotsman, and that’s something that doesn’t doesn’t happen often and you have to make the most of it when it does happen.
“One of my goals this season was to be recognized on the international stage again. I feel that my abilities can more than handle this level and I feel like I have shown that in Ostend.”