LIEL ABADA has told Celtic fans there’s more to come from him after the midfielder moved country at just the age of 19 and quickly became a first team member of the Celtic squad.

The Israeli talks about his first training session at Celtic being very high intensity, initially he struggled with the demands Ange puts on his players to become the very best.

Abada is also doing an intense course to learn the English language and further enhance his experience at the club.

For such a young lad, he sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders. The winger has come in and done very well to this point. James Forrest being out injured means he’s had more game time than he would’ve done otherwise, but he’s taken his chance and proved his worth to the team already.

Celtic have not hit the heights they need to at the moment and must do better in the next month or so if they want to challenge for the title.

The attitude of the winger will be music to the ears of Celtic fans who are excited about what the player can bring to the squad in the short and long term. He’s only going to get better, especially when Liel clearly remains humble for the opportunity in front of him.

“It’s usually very difficult to integrate so quickly in a new team, but both the players and the staff gave me confidence from the first moment I arrived.” Liel told RecordSport.

“I enjoy it very much here. At first, there were concerns about how I would get on with the language and lack of friends here, but Nir Bitton welcomed me and I immediately started to enjoy it.

“It’s not as simple as people think to move to a country at such a young age. It’s leaving family, friends, everything close to you.

“Fortunately, since I arrived, there are people who are with me – my girlfriend, my uncle, my agent, my sister, her husband and my father who came for a holiday.

“When I got to my first training session at Celtic it had a very high pace and I had a hard time. The level and pace of training were at a very high level, but I got used to it.

“Off the pitch, I am doing language lessons twice a week. Glasgow is very good. There’s everything here in terms of shops and restaurants. The only bad thing is that it is always cold here and it was also very difficult for me at first to drive on the left side of the road.”

Abada continued: “The levels here are much higher than in Israel. At Celtic, the facilities are excellent.

“The fans here are amazing. It’s very exciting for me that they already have a song for me, I need to repay them for the welcome.

“My dad always taught me to work hard for things and I earned the right to move to a great club with a good contract. He’s taught me to keep my feet on the ground.

“There’s no chance of this going to my head because I earn large sums of money now. I always listen to him for his advice.

“He worked from 5am to the evening to try to help me. When I told him I had signed for Celtic he cried down the phone. He is an amazing person and we have a special relationship. We can talk about anything.

“There were other clubs interested in me like Olympiakos and a club in the USA, but I had no regrets at all about signing for Celtic.”

Abada, speaking in a report in the Daily Record, added: “I think I am improving all the time here. I need to get better in the air and physically, too.

“The higher the level of football you play, the more physical it becomes and Scottish football is very fast and tough.

“I’ve been working hard in the gym, too, with the fitness trainer at the club. I am really happy with the way it has gone.”

Celtic’s away form has to improve sharply if Liel and the rest of his teammates are going to turn a corner. The desire is there but Ange has run into the age-old SPFL challenge of trying to break down a relentlessly defensive sides who have no intention of playing an open game of football.


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