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  • Forrest: Celtic is my home and I'm glad to be staying

    Forrest: Celtic is my home and I'm glad to be staying

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 10 Aug, 2016 12:55

  • JAMES Forrest has long been one of the shining lights of the Celtic Youth Academy, a player who came through the ranks at the club and graduated to the first-team, and he is often held up as an example to the young players now at the Academy of how far it is possible to go with the right attitude, dedication, determination and talent.

    Now 25, Forrest joined Celtic when he was just nine-years-old. It’s all he’s ever known in his football life, and that will continue to be the case for at least the next three years after he signed a new deal committing himself to the club until 2019.

    And he’s delighted that his sole focus can be on his football after sorting out his future. Speaking to the official Celtic website after signing the deal, he said: “I feel that I’ve got a bit of experience now and I just want to kick on and just play as many games as I can for this club.

    “I’ve been here since I’ve been nine. It’s all I know and it’s a massive club – one of the biggest in the world – so I’m just delighted to sign here again.”

    Forrest, who is just seven games shy of his 200th appearance for the Hoops, scored his 31st goal for the club at the weekend, a stunning left-foot finish to give Celtic the lead against hearts at Tynecastle.

    And he revealed that he responded to  the challenge put down to him by new manager, Brendan Rodgers, when the players reported back for pre-season.

    “From day one it’s been really positive and the manager’s had a good impact on all the boys,” he said, “and I think it’s shown in a lot of our good performances so far. Hopefully, as time goes on we kick on and do even better.

    “I had a chat with the manager in the off-season and as soon as we came back in pre-season, and he just said, ‘show me what you’ve got.’ I made it clear that I wanted to stay here and I’m just glad it’s done now and I can focus on playing.

    “We’ve made a few signings and they’ve made a good impact and it’s good for the squad, and we’ve also put in a couple of good performances against Astana to get to the play-off round, so it would be great to get into the group stages of the Champions League this season.”

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