“I knew about Celtic before I came here. I was aware that it is a historical club and an important club,” Reo Hatate

Reo Hatate spoke to both the mainstream media and the Celtic Fan Media at Celtic Park yesterday afternoon. The fan media event has caused a bit of negative feedback today so a word about that first. Celtic invited the representatives of each fan media site, podcast or fanzine along to the media conference on Zoom and 17 attended, to interview all three player Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi and of course Reo Hatate.

Due to the interest in the three signings the highest number of participants ever in a Celtic fan media conference were asked to put one question to one of the three players. That seemed sensible or the long drawn out process would have gone on much longer than it did.

One participant, not sure if he was representing ASOM or Celtic Way (owned and operated by Herald/Glasgow Times publishers), demanded that his question be answered by all three players and wouldn’t let it go. This caused a row with Celtic staff and the remnants of that has not been edited out, although the row itself has.

Celtic also advised us that they were going to use the recording for their social media channels in Japan so unlike the MSM press conference the use of the Japanese language remains. That makes the Fan Media Conference slow and perhaps the players – who were having sound issues – were also thinking that.

Perhaps it would have been better to split this into three separate conferences, each with say half a dozen fan media representatives speaking to one player each but it is easy to be wise after the event. All bar one of the guys on there yesterday did exactly what was asked of them by Celtic.

Anyway, we’ll feature both videos and here’s a flavour of what Reo Hatate had to say at Celtic Park yesterday afternoon…

“Since I started playing in professional football I have three title medals,” Reo said. I just need to work hard. I don’t know about how the results will go but I just want to make sure I contribute 100 per cent and that is all I think about at this stage.

“I knew about Celtic before I came here. I was aware that it is a historical club and an important club.”

Despite his father being a professional baseball player there was little chance that Reo was going to pick up a bat rather than kick a ball. “I enjoyed football too much to think about doing anything else and that was it. It was always going to be my sport.”

Hatate on the challenges of playing in Scottish football. “Let’s see what happens. I have to get into the team and play first then try to do my best. Then we can see how it turns out for me and how it goes with the football.”

On Kyogo, who has made a brilliant start to his time at Celtic, including of course his two goals in the League Cup Final last month to turn the match and win the cup for Celtic, Hatate had this to say: “I was aware of it and I was enjoying what was happening with him. But for me that was a thing that involved another player. I am me and I have to try to concentrate on what I can do when I am here. What I want to do is to keep doing what I have been doing in the past few years so that I can perform well and bring results to the team.”

On the possibility of getting an International call-up from Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu: “I have come here to play for Celtic. So I am thinking just of that at the moment and giving 100 per cent to be playing with my team-mates. I am just concentrating on my next game. That is all.”

On working with Ange Postecoglou: “I didn’t have a personal relationship with him before because I was just playing as part of another club against his teams. But I am looking forward to working with him and establishing a strong relationship.”

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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