JACK HENDRY played only 11 first-team minutes for Celtic this season before agreeing his loan deal with Melbourne City.

However, the 24-year-old defender insists he can make the grade at Parkhead – and aims to return from Australia an improved player in his bid to make the breakthrough at the eight-in-a-row champions.

Hendry cost £1.3million when ex-boss Brendan Rodgers signed him from Dundee in January 2018, but the right-back or centre-half failed to hold down a place in the top side, making a mere 15 appearances in two years.

However, the Sctland international, speaking to the Daily, Record said: “I still feel I can have a future at Celtic.

“I love playing for Celtic and they are a massive club.

“I still have a couple of years left on my contract and I feel I can still become a first-team regular, but for now I just need to go out, get games and to get back playing the way I know I can.

“I need to reach the level that convinced Celtic to go out and buy me from Dundee in the first place.”

Hendry is also hoping his move to the A-League can help put him in Steve Clarke’s thoughts for Scotland’s Euro 2020 playoff with Israel at Hampden on March 26.

The player already has three caps and is desperate to do well Down Under because he knows it could open the international door again.

He added: “I love playing for my country and it is one of the biggest honours in the game.

“That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come out on loan because I want to push to get back into the Scotland set-up.

“My debut against Hungary is one of my proudest moments and playing for my country means the world to me and my family.

“It is an exciting time for the national team and whether I am involved in the play-offs or not I will be supporting the team.

“Opportunities like this don’t come round too often.

“The play-offs are a massive opportunity for the team to progress and every top Scottish player will be desperate to be involved.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from St Johnstone v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN. 


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