Life is just fine for Jeff Hendrick at Burnley
Published 16/09/2016 | 22:36
Burnley's record signing Jeff Hendrick feels like he is quickly settling into life at Turf Moor, though he is learning to be vigilant for fear of his new wage packet being spent on club fines.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder, 24, left his first club Derby on deadline day to join up with Sean Dyche's Premier League Clarets, but the international break delayed his arrival in east Lancashire.
And having known nothing but the Rams since he was 16, Hendrick is getting used to unfamiliar surroundings, with his colleagues making sure he adheres to their rules and regulations, some of which the recent signing suspects may have been invented for his benefit.
"It will take time for me to get to know the group but we've started off well and they've helped me mingle in," the midfielder said.
"They've tried to stitch me up a few times! There are a few rules which have been around and on Friday it comes to fines. There's a system put in place but luckily I've had a week's grace. They've let a few things slide for me but they've been waiting to catch me out.
"With this week's grace, I've maybe been testing the waters to find out what is a fineable offence. I'm learning a lot, I just don't know what the actual fines are yet!
"It's leaving a bottle around, silly little things like that. There was no rulebook there for me to read and study so I'm picking the rules up as I go along. Myself and Pat (Bamford) have been getting to know them.
"Wardy (Stephen Ward) has been helping me, if I've done anything wrong he's said, 'You can't do that!' A few of them have been making me worried, saying, 'You can't do this', but I don't know if they're being sarcastic. I suppose I'll soon find out!"
Part of the induction process at a new team usually involves singing a song, which, if asked, Hendrick is just fine with.
"If they want me to sing a song I'll sing them one," he added.
"I won't be good but I'll sing; they don't expect you to be good, that's the way it is, so it will be fine!"
A strong team spirit is one of the factors often cited by those at Burnley as being a big part of why they have enjoyed such success with two promotions in three seasons.
Hendrick has admired that from afar, having seen his old club fail to make the step up over recent seasons, and it was playing at Euro 2016 with his country which reaffirmed to him he wanted to play in the top flight.
"When I got back to Derby I sat down with Nigel Pearson and we had a good chat," he revealed.
"He asked me what my aspirations were after the summer and I said, 'Having had a good summer playing in the Euros, against top teams, top players, I want to play in the Premier League'.
"He liked the way I was thinking but he wasn't going to let me go unless the price was right for the club. It was a case of getting fit, playing games and being ready if anything happened."