Ewan Henderson feels his loan spell with Ross County can help him follow Ryan Christie’s pathway into the Celtic first team.
Henderson joined the Staggies on a season-long loan deal from the Hoops prior to the transfer deadline on Monday, and has joined up with his new team-mates for training ahead of this weekend’s international break.
The 19-year-old is aiming to gain more senior experience at Dingwall having had a sprinkling of first team action at Parkhead, where he has made eight appearances.
Henderson insists he is looking no further for inspiration than Christie, who returned from a successful 18-month loan stint with Aberdeen to become a mainstay in the Hoops’ side, with the former Caley Thistle player in line to start for Scotland against Russia tonight.
Henderson said: “Ryan Christie went out and did unbelievably well at Aberdeen and it just shows you what you can achieve. That’s a good role model for me.
“Ryan has been good with me at Celtic since he’s come back and he’s been unbelievable this season – absolutely on fire.
“I didn’t see Ryan before he left for Aberdeen as I was too young to be around the squad.
“The manager at Celtic just spoke to me and said this was an opportunity for me to develop and come back and get my chance in the team.
“I just need to get my head down. Hopefully when I do go back, I’ll get my chance.”
Henderson feels the move to Dingwall comes at a crucial stage in his development, adding: “Staying at Celtic and playing reserve football could have been an option, but I feel at this stage in my career playing first team football is going to help me develop more than playing reserve football.
“That is good, but there’s a big jump between the reserves and first team football in the Premiership.
“I’d say it has come at a perfect time because I broke into the Celtic team at the end of last season. I thought I did well.
“All the boys at Celtic have been really good with me coming through the ranks of the academy.”
“I’ve learned a lot at Celtic and can’t wait to get the chance to get playing now.
“Hopefully I can work hard to get the games and chances to show the new managers how good I am.”
Henderson is intent on helping the Staggies enjoy success in their first season since winning promotion back to the top-flight. He added: “I’d say Ross County is a very good club. Obviously Celtic’s one of the top clubs in the world, but Ross County is a big club in my eyes and hopefully we can finish as high as possible in the table.
“I won’t be able to play against Celtic, but I’ll be able to play against the big teams like Rangers and Aberdeen, which can only help me.”