New Hibernian goalkeeper Adam Bogdan is excited about the opportunity to kick-start his career with a European run.
With Ofir Marciano recovering from a broken finger, the Liverpool player is in the frame to make his Hibs debut in the Europa League next week after moving to Scotland on a season-long loan.
The Hungarian has not played since suffering a serious knee injury during a loan spell with Wigan in November 2016 but has witnessed the excitement of European football at close hand.
He was regularly on the bench during Liverpool’s run to the 2016 Europa League final and travelled to the Champions League final in May as a non-stripped member of the Reds squad.
Bogdan is vying for the number-one jersey with Ross Laidlaw, who has recovered from a lengthy absence following a shoulder injury, and is eagerly awaiting next Thursday’s visit of Faroese side NSI Runavik.
“It’s exciting,” the 30-year-old said. “I have never played in Europe. I say never, I have been in the Europa League but this is another opportunity. It’s a long way because it’s the first round and there is a lot of hard work to be done, but if you are through there is a lot of enjoyment to come with it.
“We are excited to be in the competition and we would like to get into the group stages. It makes a season more colourful, a European run.
“As a player that’s what we want and the fans want the same. Hopefully it goes hand in hand and we can have many good victories and performances.”
Bogdan has been reunited with his former Bolton manager Neil Lennon at Easter Road.
“That was one of the reasons I came here,” said the goalkeeper, who spent eight seasons at the Reebok Stadium.
“He gave me a call and told me about the club and that I have an opportunity here. He is still as energetic as he was back then. He wants the training sessions to be as high tempo as possible.”
Bogdan knows he faces a battle to get the nod next week but he is relishing the prospect of proving himself on the training field.
“It’s a chance to get back to training and playing, and hopefully that’s what I am going to do,” he said.
“It’s been a rollercoaster emotionally and physically but I have been fit since February. Before that it was frustrating, it looked like it was getting better and then it didn’t. But I am fit now and working hard.”