STEPHEN HENDRIE is looking forward to getting back to his best after the left-back signed a short-term deal at Firhill.

The 26-year-old, who started his career at Hamilton before winning a seven-figure move to West Ham United in 2015, has spent the majority of his career down south but has also enjoyed loan stints at Motherwell and Kilmarnock in recent years.

Hendrie played an important role at Morecambe last season, helping his side to a fourth-placed finish and promotion to League One via the play-offs, before being released this summer.

The defender has signed a contract until January as Ian McCall adds the finishing touches to his promotion-chasing Jags. And now that he has regained his fitness, Hendrie is determined to give his all for Thistle.

“I’ve been in for a good few weeks now; just trying to get fit,” Hendrie told Jagzone. “I’m basically back fit now and ready to go. I’m just happy it’s over the line now as I can focus on training and getting out on the pitch.

“It’s been good. I knew a few of the boys before I came here – that’s made it easier to settle in. All the other boys are brilliant and have been fine with me, so I’m ready to go.

“I needed to get back fit. I had an injury then I came in and got running with the physio. Then I was in training and I just took it from there to be honest. The gaffer said he would get me back in training and see how I was, and then that was it.

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“I feel as if I’m pretty much there – just about. Training has been hard but that’s what I need to be fair.”

Hendrie racked up 45 appearances in all competitions last season during his stint in England’s fourth tier and believes that playing regularly as part of a winning team has done him the world of good.

And after pitching up in Maryhill to join up with a squad that have won three of their opening four league fixtures, Hendrie is hoping for further success this term.

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“I started off at Hamilton then I got a move to West Ham down south, then I’ve been at a few clubs – Blackburn, Southend, Morecambe,” Hendrie recalled. “I came back up here to play for Motherwell as well but now I’m here, I’m buzzing to get started.

“It was a great season [a Morecambe] to be fair. We got promotion and I missed the game at Wembley but it was the best way to go up.

“It was a good day out and we were unlucky not to go up during the season. But it was a good season – I got to play a lot of games and we were winning most weeks, so it was good.

“Definitely [you can tell the players have had a strong start]. I was telling that to the boys when I came in – I think that Thistle will do well this season and we’ve started brilliantly, so hopefully that can continue.

“I was saying to some of the boys that there are some good teams in this division and it’s going to be a hard league. We’ve done well so far so hopefully that continues.”

McCall added that he has taken confidence from Hendrie’s performances for Morecambe last season and that he was pleased to bring in another defensive recruit.

He told the club's website: “I’m very pleased to welcome Stephen to the squad. I’ve spoken plenty about wanting to add to the defensive options we have here and getting someone like Stephen in is just what I was looking for.

“He played over 40 games last season at a very good level and we’ve had him in training for a little while now so we know we’re getting a quality player to add to what is already a very talented squad.”