Hendrie faces waiting game

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FORMER England international Lee Hendrie (34) was awaiting international clearance before making his Daventry Town debut this week in either Tuesday night’s FA Trophy replay against Stourport Swifts or Saturday’s money-spinning FA Cup tie with Conference League Nuneaton.

In January the ex-Aston Villa midfield player became the first Englishman to play in the Indonesian Premier League when signing a two-year contract with Bandune. Since returning home he has been a target for Wrexham, Luton Town, St Neots and Chertsey.

He scored 27 goals in more than 250 appearances for Villa and was named the club’s young- player-of-the-year in the 1997-98 season before later enjoying spells at Sheffield United, Derby County, Stoke City, Leicester, Blackpool and Brighton.

An England U21 international he also won one full England cap when coming on as a second-half substitute for Paul Merson in the 1998 2-0 win over the Czech Republic.

A versatile midfield player Hendrie played with and against Daventry Town manager Mark Kinsella in his Villa days and the two recently linked up again when both turning out for the Villa Veterans.

Of his new signing, Kinsella said: “Lee is obviously a quality player and has kept himself fit. He has looked sharp in training, is not cup-tied and will play for us as soon as he receives international clearance from FIFA.”

A record crowd of 551 watched Daventry’s recent shock 2-1 FA Cup win over Leamington and an even bigger turnout is expected for the visit of Nuneaton who currently lie sixth in the Blue Square League South.

Whatever Daventry’s fate at the weekend Long Buckby will fancy their own chances of reaching the last qualifying round against Kidsgrove.