BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Former Hamilton star Stephen Hendrie admits he faces a “massive” season after joining Blackburn Rovers on loan from West Ham.
The 21-year-old, who made more than 100 appearances for Accies after emerging through their much-lauded youth system, landed a dream seven figure switch to the Barclay’s Premier League last summer.
He penned a three-year deal with the Hammers but struggled to make an impact in his first campaign in London, failing to make a single senior outing as Aaron Cresswell proved immovable in the left-back berth.
The youngster, did, however impress during a brief loan stint with Southend United in the second half of last term.
And Hendrie is acutely aware that he needs to make an impact during his season-long stay in the Championship with Owen Coyle’s men if he is to realise his top-flight dream.
The former Scotland under-21 internationalist said: “It’s a massive season for me.
“I’ve got two years left on my contract, so I need to do well here and see what happens after that.
“It’s tough to play at West Ham. It’s a massive club and there are some great players there, but I’ve come to another big club and I’m wanting to play here and get some games under my belt.
“I’ve not been playing enough first team games, but you never know what’s going to happen in the next few years, so I’m happy that I took that chance [to join West Ham].
“Everyone wants to play at the highest level and I couldn’t knock it back – that chance may never come again – but I’m happy that I took it.”
Blackburn boss Coyle is adamant he can help to craft Hendrie into a Premier League star.
He told the Blackburn Rovers website: “To play at [SPL] level and play consistently is why West Ham made the investment they did, so they certainly feel he’s got a chance of eventually playing in the Premier League.
“He’s not quite ready for that yet, but hopefully by working with ourselves, he can continue to improve and we get a good young player who’s trying to push on and make a name for himself in the game.”