Former Dundee defender Jack Hendry says he turned down the opportunity to move back to England in favour of a move to Scottish champions Celtic.
The defender was involved in a late piece of business on the final day of the transfer window between Celtic, Dundee and Hibernian which saw him move to Parkhead along with Scott Bain, while Scott Allan joined Hibs and Simon Murray moved to Dens Park.
Hendry’s future at Dee had been the subject to persistent rumours throughout January, and he revealed there was no chance he was going to go anywhere but Celtic after hearing of their interest.
It is understood the 22-year-old centre-back was a target for Premier League trio Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United.
“There was a lot of interest from down south,” he said. “But there was only one place I wanted to come and that was Celtic.
“The coaching staff, squad, facilities and fan base, it ticks all the boxes for me, personally.
“I want to strive in this kind of environment. I see myself as a winner, and there’s a winning mentality here, so that’s something I want to be part of.
“I feel that suits me well.”
Part of the attraction of choosing Celtic — as well as returning to the club he left as a youngster — was the prospect of playing European football, with the Hoops still in the latter stages of the Europa League, having played in the Champions League earlier this season.
And Hendry is excited about challenging himself on that stage.
He said: “That’s where you want to play, and why I came here to play on those stages.
“If I fulfil my ability that’s certainly somewhere that I will look to play, and that’s one of the reasons I came to play here.”
It has been a long and less than straightforward road for Hendry, who had just 56 first-team appearances to his name before making his Celtic bow in the defeat to Kilmarnock but he feels he has learnt from a tough spell in England which saw him struggle for regular games in spells at Wigan, Shrewsbury and MK Dons.
“I felt I learnt a lot from that period,” he said. “At times it wasn’t the most enjoyable but you learn a lot from those times and I felt that I became a better person on the pitch and off it.
“It seemed a good move at the time, it didn’t pan out for whatever reason, but I’m just looking forward now and I’ve ended up here and it couldn’t have gone any better.”