BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hibs midfielder Liam Henderson admits he was inspired by Scott Brown as a youngster watching on from the Easter Road stands.
Ten years on, the on loan Celtic playmaker is hoping he can leave a lasting impression on the club’s supporters by helping Alan Stubbs’ side get back to the Premiership.
Henderson used to attend matches with his granddad as a kid when the likes of current Hoops skipper Brown, Kevin Thomson, Steven Whittaker and Steven Fletcher were part of the club’s so-called golden-generation’.
The 19-year-old is now a team-mate of Brown but admits he was a big fan of the midfielder growing up.
Henderson, who hails from Broxburn, said: “My grandad is a Hibs fan and I came to a few games when I was younger so I knew what the club was all about.
“I would go to the bigger games, the ones against Hearts, Celtic and Rangers
“It was good because at the time Hibs played great, entertaining football so it was good to watch.
“Scott Brown and Kevin Thomson were the ones I enjoyed watching most because they play in a similar position to me.
“It was strange to then play with Broony because I have always looked up to him and admired him.”
Henderson had no hesitation in agreeing to the Hibs switch and admits Brown also gave his seal of approval.
The playmaker, who is set to line-up against Raith Rovers this afternoon, said: “I spoke to him before I came here and he told me it’s a great club and the way they want to play football will suit me.
“I was all for coming anyway but him telling me that made me want to come here even more.
“He’s been brilliant for me so far. He’s the type of guy who when he speaks you listen.
“He has given me a lot of help in training and also playing matches.”
Henderson made nine appearances during a three-month loan stint at Rosenborg at the tail end of last season and could end up getting his hands on two league winner’s medals this season with the Norwegians clear at the top of their top-flight domestic league.
He added: “I am in line for a medal if Rosenborg can win the league and thy are well clear at the moment.
“So if Hibs were to win the Championship that would be two medals in the one season which wouldn’t be bad.
“First and foremost the aim for Hibs is to get promoted, that’s what the boys want to do.
“Hopefully we can get that done.
“I missed out on a medal at Celtic last season by one appearance, but that was the chance I took and all going well there will be many league titles I can win in the future.”
Celtic rejected Hibs’ approach to take Henderson on loan in January before farming the player out to Hoops manager Ronny Deila’s homeland.
But Henderson reckons his brief stint in a foreign country could be the making of him.
He added: “I think it is going to be great for my future development.
“I lived by myself, I experienced a different culture, a different environment.
“But what I learned most over there was how much I have grown up in a short space of time.
“If I hadn’t gone there I feel like I might still be at the little boy stage.
“But I feel like I matured a lot during those three months, and learned so much in a short space of time that I wouldn’t have got if I had stayed back here.
“It was hard because I missed my family and my friends but it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I was all for going out there and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“It adds a few strings to your bow when you experience a different kind of football and play for a foreign coach.
“The football side did develop me, I think my game knowledge developed a lot.
“But I think it was more just the realisation of what I have back here, I want to make it here.”