JACK HENDRY feels he will thrive on the big stage at Celtic Park after completing a move from Dundee late in the transfer window.
The double signing of the 22-year-old defender – along with goalkeeper Scott Bain – was confirmed after the transfer deadline as Celtic went back in with what Dundee described as an “undisclosed club-record fee with add-ons”.
The transfer was the third permanent move in Hendry’s career already after he went from Partick Thistle to Dens Park via Wigan, and he feels ready to improve under Brendan Rodgers.
“The manager’s just seen a lot in me,” Hendry told Celtic’s website. “He’s recognised what I’m good at and what I can bring to the squad, and hopefully I can repay that faith he’s shown in me. I really appreciate it and I’m looking forward to it.
“I feel that I thrive in this kind of environment. I like playing in big games and in big arenas and you don’t get much bigger than Celtic Park, so I feel that it fits me down to a T and that’s why I was so keen to come to this football club – for the surroundings and the history. There’s no better fit for me.”
Hendry added: “It was a very long day but to finally get it done is great. It’s hard to describe the feeling. To be part of this football club is a very proud moment for me.
“I’m very relieved that the deal was finally agreed. It was out there for quite a while, so for it to go down to the last day, it was a bit nervous, but I’m really excited to be here now and I can’t wait to get going.
“I just want to get started and that’s what I’m totally focused on.”
Bain’s journey has been even more dramatic. After being banished from the Dundee first team following a fall-out with manager Neil McCann at the end of October, the 26-year-old joined Hibs on loan on New Year’s Day.
But he arrived at Celtic Park in his Hibs tracksuit late on Wednesday to switch loan clubs after the champions failed with two bids for Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson following a knee injury to Craig Gordon.
Bain said: “It sort of sums up football and how crazy it can be, and how the timing affects everything that goes on, but I’m just delighted to be here.
“It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up and it’s the chance of a lifetime to come to a club the size of Celtic and work with a manager as good as Brendan Rodgers and a goalkeeping coach like Stevie Woods.
“This is the biggest club in Scotland and one of the biggest clubs in the world, so I just can’t believe that I’m here.
“I phoned my dad earlier just to say that I was leaving Easter Road and on the road to Glasgow, and he was buzzing and delighted for me.
“I can’t believe I was on the bench for Hibs against Celtic last weekend and then, just a few days later, I’m signing for Celtic.”