BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Liam Henderson has already received one Cup winner’s medal this season – through the post. Now he is determined to send Inverness packing in his bid for Scottish Cup glory.
The 19-year-old turned out for Rosenborg in the third and fourth rounds of the Norwegian Cup during a loan spell from Celtic last year, helping the Scandinavian giants to 7-0 and 7-1 wins over minnows Levanger and Tromsdalen respectively.
While the rules in Scotland state you must be part of the match-day squad for the final to qualify for silverware, regulations in Norway mean that Henderson was eligible for a medal by virtue of playing during the cup run.
So, when Rosenborg went onto claim a 2-0 win over Sarpsborg in November’s final, Henderson – already a Hibs player – received a very special delivery from Norway . . . which was quickly handed over to his mum.
The on-loan Hoops teenager said: “I played in the Norwegian Cup before coming back to Scotland and that was a great experience. They went on to win the Cup, so I got a medal sent over.
“My mum is looking after it – she put it in my wardrobe somewhere!
“I’m not really the sort of person to look at things like that yet because I am still young and there will be plenty of time to look back in my career when it is finished.
“It’s strange to get a medal because in Britain you have to be part of the match-day squad to qualify for a medal, whereas in Norway you only need to play in one round. But I’m delighted the boys went on to win that trophy and I’m proud of the medal.
“The day of the final was the same weekend we had a Championship match so I didn’t watch it, but I checked the score on my phone and texted some of the boys to congratulate them, They wished me the best for the season.
“I keep in touch with Jonas Svensson, the right-back, Fredrik Midstjo and Ole Salinas, who has just joined St Ettiene. I thoroughly enjoyed my time over there, made friends and people don’t realise how massive a club that is. The manager was brilliant for me as well.”
The Norwegian Cup gong was Henderson’s second prize from his 14-game stint in Norway, having also been sent a medal when they claimed the league title in October.
Remarkably, with Hibs still in the Scottish Cup, in the League Cup final and still harbouring hopes – albeit slim – of the Championship title, Henderson could finish this season with five medals come May.
However, he knows they will have to bounce back from their three game losing streak against Morton, Dumbarton and Queen of the South to keep their treble hopes alive.
He continued: “I couldn’t put my finger on what has gone wrong. It has been a strange experience losing these last few games and sometimes football is hard to understand. But you are judged on how you react and how you bounce back.
“We are all working hard and that is the only way you will turn this down. Everyone is pretty relaxed, from the manager through to the players. When you are in these spells, everyone is trying to do what they can to dig us out of this hole.
“Inverness are a good side and play football the right way, John Hughes has them playing attractive stuff, so it should be a good game. Sunday is a massive game and we are looking forward to it.”