"I feel confident - Vasilis Barkas reflects upon new season preparations after Celtic exit

By Lewis Laird

July 28, 2022

Former Celtic goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas has opened up on pre-season preparations with current loan side FC Utrecht after his recent Parkhead exit.

The 28-year-old is looking to kick start his career once again, off the back of a disappointing two years at Celtic Park.

Barkas joined the Hoops in the summer of 2020 for a fee in the region of £5 million but failed to live up to the high expectations on his arrival in Glasgow.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Some supporters believed that the arrival of Ange Postecoglou last summer could provide Barkas with a much-needed fresh start after a disappointing first campaign.

However, after just one competitive appearance under the 56-year-old, it quickly became apparent that the goalkeeper would not be part of the manager’s plans.

He did feature one last time in the 2021/22 campaign before the Covid break in January this year, during a 3-1 win over St Johnstone.

But, this summer, Barkas was quickly moved out the door, joining Dutch side FC Utrecht on a season-long loan.

The Greek internationalist has spent the last few weeks preparing for the season ahead in Netherland with his new side, playing in a series of friendly fixtures.

One of those friendly fixtures included a match-up against his former club AEK Athens, where Celtic signed the goalkeeper.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Speaking to Greek media, the shot-stopper reflected upon his preparation for the new campaign, insisting that he is confident and enjoying his football once again.

He said (OnSports]: “I feel confident. Surely there are things that we need to improve. Friendlies are for trying things out. I hope things go well for us.

“Always for one player, the national team is the highest achievement. I feel better over here. I feel good. It’s also my family. I’m enjoying football again.

“It was strange when I was told that we would play against AEK. AEK is a big part in my life. I was glad to see the children. I talked to several.”

Utrecht move will provide Barkas with chance to impress abroad.

It has been a far from ideal few years for Vasilis Barkas at Celtic.

The goalkeeper’s time at the club can only be described as a disastrous spell, and although he never looked good enough to be a Hoops stopper, there are aspects that didn’t go Barkas’ way.

These include joining the club during the Covid-19 pandemic, which can’t have been an easy time to move away from your home country for the first time.

It is highly unlikely we will see the goalkeeper turnout for the Bhoys again, so this loan spell should provide him with the chance to impress and gain a move elsewhere next summer.

Whether that be Utrecht or somewhere else in Europe, hopefully, Barkas is able to show the qualities he has on the continent this season.

In other news, Report: Celtic continue Mohammed Abu Fani scouting mission with final decision set to be made.