Jeff Hendrick is a Republic of Ireland international midfielder who has shown impressive steps in his development since turning professional in the summer of 2010, after successfully graduating from Derby County’s Academy.
Hendrick has shown that he is a composed central midfielder with maturity beyond his years, and he is considered to be a player who has a big part to play in Derby County’s future.
He penned a new four-year deal in the summer of 2014 to commit his long-term future to the Club, along with a number of key first-team players.
Hendrick was a key player for the reserves in 2010/11 and his progress saw him introduced him into the first-team matchday squad in the closing weeks of the season.
He came off the bench on four occasions to gain valuable match experience, and it stood him in good stead for a hugely impressive 2011/12 season with the Club.
Injuries handed him his first-ever career start in August 2011 in Derby's 1-0 win at Blackpool, just days after picking up his first-ever Ireland Under-21 cap, and he went on to become a mainstay in the side for the rest of the season.
His first-ever career goal followed a few weeks later in dramatic style with the winner for ten-man Derby at Nottingham Forest, and he registered two further goals in the season and he claimed the Young Player of the Year Award after a consistent campaign, which also saw him handed a new, long-term contract.
2012/13 saw Hendrick continue to produce the goods on the first-team stage as he bagged an impressive seven goals, as well as a call-up to the full Republic of Ireland squad and he made his debut in February 2013 as a second-half substitute against Poland in a 2-0 win at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
An ankle problem that required surgery meant his 2013/14 season didn’t get going until early 2014, but after waiting patiently for his chance he made a real impact towards the end of the season.
He scored five times in the final 12 games, including a well-taken strike in the 5-0 demolition of Nottingham Forest, and he went on to return to the Republic of Ireland squad under new boss Martin O’Neill for their end of season matches.
In 2014/15 he managed to score on nine occasions in all competitions and appear 47 times, as well as landing the Republic of Ireland’s Young Player of the Year Award.