Luke Hendrie enjoying his time coaching at Ilkley

Luke Hendrie has been coaching the men's first team. The Bradford City player is enjoying coaching the semi-professional side. Read Evan Seaman's interview with Luke to find out how he has found the Baht 'atters. We are loving having a player with Luke's experience involved at the club.

You have been coaching with Ilkley Town AFC over the past few weeks. How have you found your time at the club so far?

It’s been great. I’ve loved working with the players and the staff. The players are a young group, but they are a great bunch to work with. I just want to help them as much as I can and I’m always here for advice if they need it.

You are also currently a player at League 2 side Bradford City. How did you find out about Ilkley and what made you want to come to the club?

It’s through my older brother, Joe Hendrie. He used to play for Ilkley Town, so I knew a lot about the club and the ambition that they have for the future.
I completed my UEFA B licence coaching badge in June and I’ve been looking for opportunities to get regular coaching experience.
I know the manager Sam Dexter well and have heard great things from Joe about Dave Houlston and his coaching.
It allows me to develop as a young coach under the watchful eye of two coaches with great knowledge and experience.

Ilkley are currently 2nd in the league and are in a great run of form. Are you hoping to help the team to keep the good times coming?

It’s been a great start to the season. The players have set high standards and the belief within the group is high.
I struggle to get to the games as it falls on the same day that we play at Bradford. However, the game vs Atherton LR was the first time I’ve seen us in a game situation, and I was really impressed with how we played.
It's a group with a lot of potential and I think the future is looking bright.

This season is your second spell with Bradford, after previously playing for the Bantams in the 2017-18 campaign. What made you decide to return to the club?

It’s a club close to my heart and I have a deep family connection. Bradford is a massive club and whenever they express an interest in signing you it’s extremely hard to turn down. I’m grateful to be in the position that I’m in and hopefully we can have a successful season.

You were also on the books at Manchester United during your youth career. What was it like playing for a club with such a huge reputation?

It was a great learning experience at such a young age. I joined the Academy when I was 13 and left when I was 18. Towards the end of my time, I was plagued by injury, which was tough, but it allowed me to have a great grounding which I have taken into my career as a professional.

Have you been able to enhance your skills as a professional footballer after playing for teams with a big stature in the game such as Man United?

Yes, that is probably down to the grounding that we had. I remember at the time the Academy would pride itself on the number of players who were playing in the professional leagues. It’s very difficult to break into the first team at Man Utd so a lot of the time the coaches are preparing you for a career in the game. Luckily for me, I have managed to do that.

You have also represented England a few times at the U16 and U17 level. Was it a proud moment for you and your family to play for your country?

It’s always a proud moment and honour to represent your country at whatever level. It was a great experience to play with some of the best players in the country and to travel away to play. I played in the Victory Shield and U17 European Qualifiers.

Your father, John Hendrie, was also a professional footballer and manager as he played for some big teams such as Leeds United and Newcastle. Are you pleased to have carried on the family history?

Yes, it’s nice to have that connection. My family have been a great inspiration throughout my career and my Dad has been a great person to have for advice and help whenever I need it due to his experience in the game. He allows me to get on with my football, but he is always there if I need him.

You attended St Mary’s Menston school growing up. Did you enjoy your time there?

St Mary’s were amazing with me. I had a great mentor, Dave Geldart, who would always help me keep on top of my studies, particularly around my later years at school when I was starting to train more frequently over at Man Utd.
My parents always kept my feet on the ground, if I was behind with schoolwork then I wasn’t allowed to go to football! Looking back, it was 100% the right approach.

You also studied Journalism at Staffordshire university. Is this something you’d like to go into once you have hung up your boots?

I’m not sure to be honest I’m quite open minded. I got the degree as a safety net if football didn’t work out. Like I said before, I am doing my coaching badges too and I love coming down to Ilkley Town and helping. I’m loving coaching at the moment, and I think I can see myself going down that route in the future.