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Fullname: Jack Hendry
Born: 7 May 1995
Signed: 31 Jan 2018 (from Dundee)
Loan: 31 Aug 2020 (1 year loan to KV Oostende in Belgium)
Left: 25 Sep 2021 (to KV Oostended, loan converted to permanent, est €2m)
Debut: Kilmarnock 1-0 Celtic, League, 3 Feb 2018
Squad No.: 4
International Caps: ? [complete at end of career]
International Goals: ? [complete at end of career]
|“But at the same time you’ve got to ask questions like, ‘did I get as fair an opportunity as maybe I should have?'”
Jack Hendry (2021)
Having rejected Hearts, TheRangers and offers from England, Celtic had landed a man in demand from Dundee who were under the management of the Celtic-unfriendly Neil McCann.
Celtic grabbed Jack Hendry who was arriving in the second season under Brendan Rodgers whilst the team was finding that the defence, especially the centre half area, was in turmoil. This was to provide an opening for Jack Hendry, which his peers would not find as easy elsewhere on the pitch. His debut was a 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock, only the second domestic defeat for Rodgers, but little that Hendry could do.
He actually had a curious start to his career, as he won a well earned set of games in the second half of the 2017-18 season with Celtic on their way a second treble on the trot. Celtic actually weren’t always impressing domestically in this second season, despite the results, and some were partly noticing that Jack Hendry seemed to play in a number of those drab games. That was a poor analysis from many, as it was hardly his fault, and he did play in some notable matches including a 3-2 victory away & 5-0 win at home over Sevco.
He didn’t help his case at times but trying to play too much football instead of just getting rid of the ball as centre-halves should in many cases, at certain times getting himself into trouble, but he had time to learn.
People just needed to give him time before assessing his full ability. In a defence that was deservedly getting criticised (bar Tierney), Hendry was the least of the issues. As Benkovic came into the Celtic side on loan in season 2018-19, Hendry was pushed back in the queue for a place.
One of the comical and unnecessary tags bundled on him early on was ‘The Hendry Curse‘ as Celtic seemed to struggle to win in his initial appearances. There are a lot of caveats to why Celtic underperformed in those matches and the tag really should have been parked earlier on but it caught on. Celtic may have been performing well below par but Hendry wasn’t the only culpable culprit.
Brendan Rodgers defended him (Sep 2018):
“Jack Hendry has come into a huge club and seen the demands. He never shirks from it. He’s had some challenging games but he always puts himself out there. A great attitude and I’m looking forward to seeing him develop over the next few years.”
In one match v Partick Thistle (early 2018-19 season), he was poor on the day and a comical episode saw him lose the ball in midfield but through some hard work he regained the ball, but the whole sequence was cut and pasted across the forums, and he was criticised by many who held this as a further example of his inability at the present time.
In fairness, he was signed as a backup/project yet has found himself as a first pick due to a combination of Boyata practically going on strike for a move, Compper being a malingerer and Jozo having a fondness for red card tackles.
As the Celtic team found Sevco to be breathing down their necks in the 2018/19 league title campaign, there was little leeway being given to anyone, which was little helping out Hendry. Dundee fans swore by him, and maybe he just needed some time and help to mature. Celtic though did go on to win the league, but without much further assistance from Jack Hendry.
He was phased out at Celtic of season 2018-19, and it was clear that any semblance of self confidence he had was shot to bits by his repeated poor performances. He needed some leeway.
Hendry’s main problem could be directed at that in the majority of his games had come when Lustig was out the team. That means he had either had to fill in at right back or we have changed to a tricky three at the back. This affected Celtic defensively but also offensively. He had the raw tools to be a good player if he managed to train on under the right manager, as it was to prove in Belgium.
Loan out to Belgium and Euro 2020
He was sent out on loan to KV Oostende for the Covid impacted 2020/21 season, and Incredibly at his loan club he was a star with reports that a number of clubs started to sound him out from the English Premiership. He was awarded best non-Belgian in the Belgian top league at a time when their national team & league was strong.
This came with Celtic collapsing in season 2020/21 when the club was aiming for a record ten league titles in a row. Shane Duffy was brought in and was seen as a major failure for the season. The defensive situation got so bad, that Celtic were said to have considered but couldn’t recall Jack Hendry in the January transfer window despite the centre-back’s sparkling form for KV Oostende in the Belgian top flight.
It was frustrating for Celtic, but not the fault of Hendry. If anything it likely further proved the poor quality of defensive management & coaching at Celtic during his time. He questioned if he was given a fair chance at Celtic, which some began to sympathise with, especially as Celtic floundered in season 2020/21. On the other hand, his club were not exactly big movers in their domestic league, and the plaudits were argued by some as being exaggerated.
His loan club converted his loan to permanent with an estimated €2m (£1.75m) transfer purchase option taken up. It was no surprise and all for the best, although Celtic were very desperate to repair their much maligned defence. His return might have helped. He celebrated the preliminary announcement of the proposed move with a fine goal v Netherlands in a friendly in preparation for Scotland for the upcoming Euros.
He was taken to Euro 2020 (played in 2021 due to Covid), and he only got to play in the first match v Czech Rep. He was partly blamed with ex-Celtic goalkeeper for being liable for the calamitous second goal conceded. He was dropped for the next two matches, meaning he missed out on the 0-0 draw with England at Wembley. His performance in the Euros didn’t prove he was worth the figures bandied about by his sympathisers in Belgium, with claims of potential bids by other parties of around EUR10m. It was a case of take the purchase option money and move on for Celtic.
We wished him the best.
Before even the ink was dry, Oostende had a great deal by selling Jack Hendry to major Belgian club Brugges originally reported to be EUR8m, so even if there were still doubters at Celtic, in Belgium he was highly regarded. Turned out his contract with the Oostende included a clause that he could leave for ‘just’ £3.5m if it was to a team in the Champions League which is what happened so the actual second transfer fee was far lower than the initial reports.
For anyone questioning Celtic, Hendry was still struggling to get into the Scotland side, so it wasn’t just the Celtic management who questioned Hendry’s ability at this time.
A few weeks after moving to Bruges, Jack Hendry was part of a side that helped turn in a solid display in a 1-1 draw against the team tipped as favourite to win the Champions League. Having been touted to suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of PSG and their plethora of superstars, Hendry and his cohorts largely kept Messi, Neymar and Mbappe at bay. Congratulations to him.
“I’m sure Celtic fans will see that I am very passionate in what I do and I strive to succeed – I’m a winner.”
Jack Hendry (2018)
“Congrats Jackie Boy,” Oostende Delight as Celtic’s Jack Hendry named Best Player in Belgian Pro League”
The Celtic Star (2021)
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Honours with Celtic
- 2017-18, 2018-19
Scottish League Cup
- 2018-19, 2019-20
Jack in the Box, Social Media Sticks and Stones…
By Editor 4 October, 2018 No Commentshttps://thecelticstar.com/jack-box-social-media-sticks-stones/JACK HENDRY has had to endure an intense level of supporters backlash since joining Celtic in the January transfer window from Dundee.Brendan Rodgers reckoned that the then Dundee defender had all the attributes that he could work with and develop into a top central defender. Hendry of course arrived in the same window as the much more experienced defender Marvin Compper – whose Celtic career looks to be over after a contribution of just 81 minutes back in March against Morton in the Scottish Cup.Hendry has had more football at Celtic so far than probably he or anyone else expected. He came on as a substitute on Beautiful Sunday – the day Jozo Simunovic got sent off and the subsequent suspension to the Croatian opened a door for the former Dundee man.When Dedryck Boyata had his post World Cup strop, Hendry found his path to the first team had opened up again. Even at Kilmarnock the other week when he was named as a substitute, the new loan signing from Leicester Filip Benkovic got injured in the warn up and Hendry found himself in the starting eleven.Social media can be brutal and Jack Hendry has suffered more than probably any other Celtic player in recent times. One of the criticisms has been that he was a jinx to the team and that with him in it Celtic weren’t winning. We have written about this very subject on The Celtic Star re the abuse Jack Hendry has had to suffer – see HERE.Hendry wasn’t scoring own goals or making that many mistakes but he got pelters – and often too.He was on social media himself, he made a remark about England losing and was absolutely slaughtered by an angry English mob but since then he’s taken a back seat – or so he says.There are these click bait sites that pounce as soon as Celtic had a bad result and gather 5 or 6 tweets together and post as an article. Depressingly this usually sits at the top of the Most Read column on the news aggregator sites – and it’s not just Jack Hendry who they slaughter, although he is a particular favourite for the treatment.Yesterday Hendry spoke about online sticks and stones and says he has learnt to cope with it. He’s likely to start tonight against Salzburg and they are a dynamic, free scoring side who look capable of causing Celtic problems.Hendry of course also broke into the Scotland set-up during this eventful time in his career and has this week been named in McLeish’s squad for the next batch of internationals. But before that it’s Salzburg this evening that top of the agenda. Here’s what Jack had to say to the official website.“When you have critics you have to take it on the chin. It’s how you deal with it that matters. Sometimes you will get criticised, other times you will get plaudits.“People are entitled to say their bit. I just try to stay away from social media. It’s unnecessary for a footballer to look at it – I felt that was the best thing to do.“I wasn’t on it that much before I came here but there is no real necessity to be on it.“The opinions that matter most are the people around the team, the coaching staff and my team-mates. Obviously these days people are a few clicks away from giving an opinion but most of it is irrelevant. The majority of the stuff on it is of no use to me.”“Obviously social media can be good for keeping fans updated but I think that’s as far as it goes. You can’t get dragged into it and be looking at certain stuff because it distracts you from what you should be focusing on and doing on the pitch.“You should be looking at games and thinking about opponents rather than going into what other people think. It is part of the game now, social media, and as a player you have to find the best way to deal with it.“There is loads of experience in our dressing room if I ever want to talk to someone about certain subjects. I want to improve, I am a good listener and will take in everything I’m told.“You just have to believe in yourself, keep pushing on and have confidence in your ability. If you do that the rest will take care of itself. I feel in every game you need to showcase your ability and the talents you have.“In every match you need to show the mentality you’re capable of wearing that shirt. That’s something that I thrive on. We have a good defensive record going into this game and you want clean sheets at every club that you play for.“We need to try to maintain that as a team and keep improving in that area. As a team we know what our strengths are. We take it game by game but a win on Thursday is what we’re looking for. It would be a great achievement to come here and do that.”“When you play in Europe the opposition is better. There are players from all different nationalities and generally the pace is much higher. Has it been an eye-opener? Not really, it has been enjoyable.“I have enjoyed playing in Europe. I feel like it suits my game and I believe I can play in this arena. I have showed it with Scotland as well.“This is where I wanted to be in my career and to go even further.”
‘Did I get a fair opportunity?’ – Celtic outcast has say on club’s haphazard season and national team hopes
Celtic defender Jack Hendry has questioned whether he was given a “fair opportunity” at Celtic before being sent on loan to Australia and Belgium.
By Patrick McPartlin
Friday, 5th March 2021, 9:47 am
The 25-year-old signed for the Hoops in January 2018 but has made just 27 appearances and in January last year joined Melbourne City on loan, only to suffer a knee ligament injury during his second appearance.
Henry then joined Belgian side KV Oostende in the summer of 2020 and has helped De Kustboys to a surprising fourth in the table, just two points off second-placed Antwerp.
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HIs performances for the Flemish side have already seen him linked with Brighton, Burnley, and Sheffield United.
But the former Dundee centre-back admits it has been tough watching his parent club struggle this season – particularly in defence.
Speaking to Sky Sports Hendry said: “Watching from afar this season it’s not been easy, because obviously it’s been a difficult season for them, and of course the way that I’m playing at the minute I think I could have had a real good impact on the side.”
Conceding he was disappointed with how things had panned out at Parkhead, Hendry added: “First of all, I’ve got to look at myself, how that happened and how it didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to.
“But at the same time you’ve got to ask questions like, ‘did I get as fair an opportunity as maybe I should have?’
“Coming back this pre-season I needed to kick on; I needed to do something with my career because it was just potential.
“I was really determined to go and show people I was a good footballer and I was at [Celtic] for that reason.
“With the tough years I had [at Celtic], it’s made me a lot mentally tougher, I think it’s made me a better person and I’ve come through the other side of it.
“Now, having a good run of games, I want to play at that level again. I want to push myself, I just feel that I needed my confidence back and my mojo back.”
With the European Championships on the horizon, Hendry – who already has three international caps – isn’t giving up hope of forcing his way into Steve Clarke’s thoughts. The fact the national team often plays in a system not too dissimilar to the formation utilised by Oostende boss Alexander Blessin is an added bonus.
“Playing in a three at my club hopefully helps me with the international scene because it’s something that I’m striving towards,” Henry revealed.
“It was my biggest achievement so far playing for Scotland and I’m desperate to pull that shirt on again because you’ve got to make the most of it when it does come around.
“One of my goals this season was to get recognised on the international scene again. I feel that my ability can more than handle that level and I feel like I’ve shown that at Oostende.
“I feel that I could add value and I’ve been working very hard during this season, in the off-season, to put myself in a position where I could possibly say to myself that I might be worthy of it.”
Why Jack Hendry isn’t one that got away for Celtic despite Ange Postecoglou’s likely desire for two centre-halves
Revisionism is an addictive drug in football.
By Andrew Smith
Monday, 7th June 2021, 4:52 pm
Frankly, it is all that can explain the mainlining on claims of missed opportunities and mismanagement from Celtic subsequent to Belgian club KV Ostende having now activated a £1.75million buy-out option for defender Jack Hendry. The smart money is on Ostende “flipping” the player’s club status to sell him this summer. Leeds United, Burnley, Newcastle and West Brom have been credited as willing to part with a fee placed in the region of £10m in order to acquire the 26-year-old centre-back.
Open and shut case, it would appear then. Celtic have screwed-up. They packed off an unwanted player to an unfashionable Belgian club on a loan-to-buy season-long deal – having first papped him out to Australia, only for him to suffer serious injury ahead of the pandemic hitting – and it has rebounded on them in costly fashion. A player that they bought from Dundee in January 2018, for an initial £1.2m fee, will now only earn them around a paltry half-a-million profit. Except this isn’t a legitimate appraisal of the situation.
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Plaudits and profits
Scotland’s defender Jack Hendry during the match against the Netherlands.
Scotland’s defender Jack Hendry during the match against the Netherlands.
Hendry deserves mighty plaudits for rebuilding his career at Ostende. No-one expected him to do so, and force his way into the Scotland set-up for the Euro 2020 finals. It has been a remarkable turnaround, yet it remains questionable as to whether he will bank Ostende anything like an £8m profit. Equally, even across his renaissance, there have been few indications that he would be the answer to Celtic’s deep-seated defensive issues. In reality, for the Parkhead club to make a 40 per cent profit on a player the supporters turned on in vicious fashion, whose confidence ended up in at some subterranean level way below rock bottom, and who pre-Ostende had become a poster boy for Brendan Rodgers flawed signing policy during his final 18 months in charge, is a decent outcome for them. And the best outcome for Hendry, never mind Ostende.
The sublime finish that the defender produced in Scotland’s 2-2 draw with the Netherlands has led to the hype being applied to the Glasgow-born performer’s rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches tale. Yet, his less than stellar role in the first equaliser for the Dutch last Wednesday – he didn’t get tight enough to Georginio Wijnaldum which allowed him to fashion the headed knock-down for Memphis Depay to strike – reminded that he is an impressive, quick centre-back of the ball-playing type who can often lack the aggression or discipline required for the primary functions related to stifling opponents.
Celtic fans lost it with Hendry, at times unfairly, as such tendencies were witnessed across his 18 starts in Celtic colours. Notably one fewer start than Stephen Welsh, the 21-year-old centre-back the Parkhead club clearly believe is a better back-up through demonstrating greater robustness even in a crumbling team last season. It is surely the case that, given his past reliance on such figures, expected in-coming manager Ange Postecoglou will recruit two senior, scrapping centre-backs to vie for these berths, alongside returning-from-injury Christopher Jullien. The imminent departure of Kristoffer Ajer is a given. In this scenario, there wouldn’t have been an obvious playing niche for Hendry, even if he could have been returned to Glasgow. And at five years older than Welsh, Hendry recognises he needs to find a footballing home where he will be trusted, as he was at Ostende.
What Hendry has had to say
Jack Hendry during his time at Ostende,
Jack Hendry during his time at Ostende,
“My main focus is just on the Euros and whatever happens afterwards will happen,” the defender said last week. “The most important thing for me next season is playing regularly at the highest level possible. I think my game has come on a lot this year by playing games. But even so, I’ve not got any other distractions right now. I’m concentrating on these group stages and then we’ll see what happens afterwards.”
Hendry’s prospects of starting in Scotland’s Euro 2020 opener with the Czech Republic in a week have been talked up. So too is what he achieved in Belgium. Some of the facts seem to have become a little distorted, though. One report claimed he had been voted Belgium’s player of the year. He was given this accolade by a football magazine Sport Voetbal. However, the official player of the year, voted for by his fellow professionals in the Belgian top flight, was actually Genk forward Paul Onuachu.
Genk claimed the final European place in the country’s Jupiter League, Ostende eventually finishing seventh after the country’s byzantine play-off system. They slipped out of contention for this Europa League qualifying slot in part because in Hendry’s final three starts, they contrived to concede 11 goals. As Rangers’ madcap 9-5 aggregate win over Royal Antwerp in UEFA’s second string tournament last season demonstrated, defensive solidity isn’t exactly prized in Belgian football. Indeed, across Hendry’s final 23 games for Ostende, they kept only three clean sheets. Moreover, Scotland have conceded two goals in only two of their past 15 games under Steve Clarke. These two games just happen to be the only ones where Hendry has played 90 minutes for his country. In that span, Declan Gallagher has proved a reliable presence. Yet that didn’t have any Celtic supporters clamouring for their club to sign up the up-and-down defender before he agreed a deal with Aberdeen.
It is now more than two-and-a-half years since Hendry started a game for Celtic – a 3-1 defeat away to Salzburg in the Europa League. Rodgers, after gushing about his early impact, then pushed him to the periphery, where he remained once Neil Lennon replaced his fellow Irishman in February 2019. Hendry is patently a performer of much greater poise now, but Celtic took the proper course of action to allow him to become so, and that means it is specious to seek to present him as one that got away.