Celtic star Kyogo Furuhashi is relishing the physical challenge of Scottish football and is doing so with a smile on his face.
The slight 26-year-old Japan international has become a hero to the Hoops support since arriving in Glasgow in the summer from Vissel Kobe.
Furuhashi shrugged off a hamstring problem to score a double in the 2-1 Premier Sports Cup final win over Hibernian at Hampden Park on Sunday, taking his tally for the season to 16.
Speaking through an interpreter, Furuhashi discussed his early experiences of Scottish football.
He said: “The standard is very high and it is a lot more physical.
“In terms of the physical aspects of the play, I know that I am quite a small person but I see that as a good challenge.
“And every game I am trying to figure out how I can win against those challenges but I am having fun at the same time.
“Six months have gone past so quickly and part of that is because I have adapted to Scottish football and it has been really fun for me and you can see growth in the team as well, we are growing into a new team.
“I am very surprised how quickly I have adjusted and to get those results very quickly.
“I do believe it is from the support and trust of my team-mates and I am grateful for the support of everyone around me but I’m still not satisfied.”
Celtic have been linked with Japanese trio Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi – but without going into specifics, Furuhashi said he would welcome having more of his countrymen in Scotland.
He said: “I am not 100 per cent aware of all the rumours and what is going on behind the scenes so I can’t really comment on it.
“But if players were to come to Scotland to play football then all I could say was try to enjoy it and have as much fun as possible, and I believe that would link to good results.
“I would love to see more players come and play over here.
“I do think the J-league players are good enough and there are a lot
of good players in Japan .”