Ben Siegrist reveals Ange Postecoglou's vision for him at Celtic
Ange Postecoglou is hoping to foster serious, but healthy, competition in the goalkeeping department this coming season if Ben Siegrist’s initial words at Celtic are anything to go by.
Siegrist has made it clear in multiple interviews now that he is keen to push Joe Hart for the number one spot in the Celtic team. However, you never really know if that’s just big talk from a new signing hoping to make a positive first impression.
Thankfully, it seems the words go beyond bravado, with the Swiss goalkeeper revealing that competition was all part of Postecoglou’s vision for him when they discussed the move prior to his signing.
Speaking to The Herald [23/06 print edition, Sport supplement page 2], Siegrist explained: “Ultimately, it was down to the manager, it was down to his vision. I could go to another team and play another 100 or 150 games or I could go somewhere I feel like it’s going to improve me the most. That’s what it came down to. My willingness to improve, to better myself and measure myself day in, day out against the best players Scotland has to offer. That was the fantastic opportunity I didn’t want to pass up.
“It’s all about competition in his vision. I know there are no guarantees. There were no guarantees when I first came to Scotland four years ago. All I look forward to is the competition. It’s not a competition against somebody, it’s a competition with somebody.
“I know the standing Joe Hart has here. He’s a fantastic goalkeeper and a good person, from the little chats I’ve had with him. I’m buzzing to be in the team with him, honestly. It’s going to be really good.
“You know what the manager stands for. ‘We don’t stop’. That’s something that really excited me. When I had that phone call with the manager, he told me his vision and what’s going to be happening in the future here. This isn’t just a short term see-how-it-goes project, this is a long term thing with the manager and how he wants us to play.”
Siegrist acknowledges he has his work cut out for him here. The smart money is on Hart lining up as the first-choice goalkeeper for the match at home to Aberdeen next month.
Nonetheless, he sounds eager and excited to get stuck into a task that earns him minutes in a Celtic jersey.
He isn’t going into this naively – he understands there’ll be a period of adjustment and that it will take time to learn the methods of what Postecoglous wants from his goalkeepers.
In time, it could result in him becoming a big player for the Bhoys. At the very least, his presence will help Hart along the way.