“Out of nowhere I’m one of the oldest players, but I’ve quite enjoyed it,” James Forrest

Celtic legend James Forrest spoke to the Celtic fan media, including of course The Celtic Star, at Celtic Park on Trophy Day after the 3-2 win over St Mirren. Here’s what Jamesy had to say…

Q: Was it a challenge for you to keep yourself fit and ready after being on the sidelines for so long?

James Forrest: “I think kind of January/February, the boys were playing and I was at Lennoxtown training with maybe four or five other players that weren’t in the squad. Credit to those players that we kept each other going through those spells just on the off chance that you do get a chance, and I obviously done that January/February and been back in the fold since March. So it’s been a great season.”

Q: Did you always have your eye on returning to the squad? Did you keep that mentality?

James Forrest: “The team, the club always sign new wingers in my position and the manager was playing them. I think there was maybe a suspension and a couple of injuries, and then when you get a chance after being out for so long you have to come in straight away and I think I did that the first game and I’ve just kind of grew on that. Just the confidence has been there for myself and the team as well.”

Q: How has it been being a more senior member of the squad?

James Forrest: “In the last couple of years, maybe three years ago, a lot of the older boys in the squad have left, and then out of nowhere I’m one of the oldest players. But I’ve quite enjoyed it. The younger players have come in and I quite enjoy being one of the older ones, one that the younger ones can look up to.”

Q: In terms of trophies, you’re one of the most decorated players. What does that mean to you?

James Forrest: “Days like today you remember forever. I’ve had so many of them and don’t take any of them for granted. It’s incredible. I just thrive to get another one.”

Q: Did you ever imagine when you scored that first goal for Celtic that you’d go on to score so many more?

James Forrest: “I think that would maybe be the problem if you do think like that. Just at the time, you need to enjoy it and you can’t think like that. Even just now, at my age, you can’t think three or four months down the line, it’s literally game by game. I know it’s a boring answer but it is that. That’s what I’ve done throughout my career.”

Q: Last couple of games, the teams really kicked on. What do you think has been the catalyst for that?

James Forrest: “I think maybe just that a couple of boys have come back from injury. A couple of good performances and you can just see the confidence throughout the team.”

Q: The season started with your testimonial and now you’re standing here on trophy day. Where would you rank this season amongst your other achievements at the club?

James Forrest: “Everyone says it’s an up and down season but I think that makes it even better. We have had to come up against difficult moments and then like you say, I did have my testimonial here, I’ve had a lot of testimonial stuff throughout the season, so I think it’s definitely right up there in the achievements that I’ve had.”

Daizen Maeda celebrates after his cross leads to Celtic’s second goal during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Q: What results would you say have been important this season?

James Forrest: “I think it’s a hard one just to think of a couple. Maybe when we did go behind to (the)Rangers in the league by a few points, the performances and results after that, knowing you have to win to stay in touch with them. And then maybe in the last couple of months because every game has been vital.”

Q: Have you thought about next season?

James Forrest: “No. In January/February, I didn’t even know what was going to happen game by game so ever since I’ve been back in the squad in March, I’ve just been buzzing and enjoying every game I’ve been in. Honestly, I’m just looking forward to the cup final next week.”

Q: Do you enjoy playing on the left-hand side more or does that not really bother you?

James Forrest: “I’ve been asked this throughout my full career and I’ve always changed my mind. I’ve maybe changed my mind 11, maybe 12 times! I think maybe just sometimes it can depend. The game can have the ball more down one side so then you think maybe you enjoy that side but then it can change the next game, sometimes who you’re playing with as well, if it’s someone you link up well with, you can then change your side as well but honestly, I like playing both. I’ve got freedom of playing on the left and on the right, on the inside and on the outside on both. So, no, to be honest, I don’t have a favourite.”

Q: You’re one of the few who played under Brendan Rodgers the first time. Have you noticed any changes?

James Forrest: “I think he’s a lot of the same. But he’s still at it every game. There’s been a couple of players, me and a few others, who have had him before. He’s won the league on his first season back so can’t ask for much more than that.”

ON CELTIC SHORTS…Celtic Shorts Photo Gallery – Walking Up The Gallowgate

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I'm a student journalist and Celtic supporter. I'm delighted to have been recently appointed women's football writer for The Celtic Star, where the coverage of the Celtic FC Women's team has been incredible and unrivalled over the past three seasons.

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