Karl Starvelt admits that life is a little different than being an Ange Postecoglou centre-back.
But the Swedish goalkeeper insists that if he can handle the Australian’s demands, he will take himself to the next level in the game.
Starfelt indulged in Postecoglou’s eye-opening style.
The overall manager’s style of seeing full-backs rushing to assist the offensive unit leaves the boys as a central defender to hold the fort.
It wouldn’t be an easy adjustment for an established advocate.
For a new £4m club and country signing to justify it would have to be tougher.
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However, Stavelt loves him. Although fellow new recruits like Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada have captured the imagination with their flair, the defender is quietly settling into his role and responsibilities.
The 26-year-old’s start has earned him a call-up to the national team for next month’s matches in Spain, Uzbekistan and Greece, and he believes he can only improve as he said: “It’s a little different than playing for many other teams. I’m enjoying it a lot, though. So.
“It demands a lot from you, but it is also good for your development.
“If you can play here, I think you will develop a lot, and it is very interesting for us to play football.
“The style Ange wants to play is working now, so we feel more confident in the system.
“It’s fun for the players, but for the fans as well. I’m enjoying it a lot and I feel like I’m settling in more and more.
“Of course it will take some time to fully settle into a new team, but I feel like I am getting better in every game. I enjoy life outside of football as well, so this is perfect.”
Starfelt has a chance tonight to build his reputation in Celtic with a dominant display.
Arriving in the Netherlands with a 2-0 advantage in the first leg, solidity at the back line may be all that is needed to advance to the Europa League group stage.
Starfelt knows what’s at stake and said, “Of course it’s important to us. We’ll do everything we can to beat it, and hopefully then look forward to some fun games out there.”
“European nights are a big draw for players to come here. Not many clubs get European matches, only the top clubs in a good league.
“Of course, that’s one of the reasons the players want to come here.
“My experience with Celtic Park has been amazing so far, the fans have been very good. Not only in European matches, but in every game.
“I’m not used to that kind of support and those kinds of fans, so it was way above my expectations.
“We’ve had some really great nights and we have good confidence in the team now. We feel we’ve found a good rhythm.
“Of course, we are very excited to go into a big week and a very exciting match. We will need to do our best to make that happen.
“It always gives you confidence when you get good results, but not only that, we also played well in many matches.
“It will be a big test. Alkmaar showed at Celtic Park that they are a very good team, so we need to be ready.”
The clean sheet in the first leg was one of four in the last five games for Starvelt and his teammates at the backline.
Scottish kids Anthony Ralston and Stephen Welch were fantastic against the Dutch side at home, and the Swede says they could easily make an appearance on the international scene, despite losing to Steve Clark’s side in next month’s matches against Denmark, Moldova and Austria.
“They’re two very good players and they’ve done very well,” said Starfelt. “They’re young too, but why not?”
“I was touched by them. It was easy to play alongside them.
“Of course, I was impressed that they are doing well despite their young age as well, so they have been great.”
Joe Hart also saved big saves against Arizona and it likely will need to excel again to complete the job.
Stafelt added: “Joe is a very good guy, a very good goalkeeper and a leader on the field and in the dressing room.
“What a career he had. You can learn a lot from this player, even though we are not in the same position. You can learn from his mentality.
“He’s always yelling at us and demanding a lot from us, so that’s cool.
“We have to be defensive in every game, but we are confident in our style of play and we just need to keep going and not change too much. Do the things we are already doing, but do it a little better.”
On the other hand, the first leg scorer Furhashi, of course, can cause more damage.
The Japanese were subjected to disappointing racist videos that surfaced on social media last weekend.
Celtic immediately condemned these actions and Postecoglou spoke in support of Vorohasi.
Staffelt did the same by saying, “I only have good things to say about Kyogo.
“First of all, he is a very good player, but he is also a very nice guy.
“It suits our style of play very well and also with our team.
“Of course, we showed him our support this week, that’s all we can do.”