REO HATATE is determined to bring down the curtain on his first full season at Celtic with a treble celebration.
The classy Japanese midfielder has already played his role in helping the Hoops to retain the League Cup with a flawless performance in the 2-1 triumph over Michael Beale’s Ibrox side at Hampden in February.
Hatate has also been a pivotal figure in Ange Postecoglou’s team’s second successive title and now the 25-year-old playmaker is looking forward to the Scottish Cup Final against Inverness Caley Thistle at the national stadium a week tomorrow.
HAMPDEN HAPPY DAZE…Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi celebrate the striker’s second goal in the 2-1 League Cup Final triumph in February.
And the player’s feelgood factor was further boosted by his inclusion alongside compartiots and team-mates Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda in his nation’s international squad for the Kirin Cup encounters against El Salvador and Peru next month.
Hatate, a bargain £1million recruit from J-League outfit Kawasaki Frontale in January 2022, admitted he was disappointed to miss out on the party outside Parkhead after the championship was secured with the 2-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle on May 7.
He said: “As the league matches are fought throughout the year, winning the league is a proof of what the players have been doing and working on for the past year.
“For myself, I was able to contribute to the victory of the team throughout the year and it gave me a lot of confidence.
MIDFIELD BATTLE…Reo Hatate and Todd Cantwell tussle for possession in Celtic’s 1-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win as skipper Callum McGregor looks on.
“That’s a big difference from last season, when I only contributed to the team half of the season. I saw that it was a hot topic in the news because I wasn’t there at the celebration party held at Celtic Park after winning the match against Hearts.
“However, I had a plan long before I knew that the match against Hearts would decide the championship and I had received permission from the club and the manager for a long time in advance. Originally, I wanted to share the joy with the fans and supporters at Celtic Park.
“Sure, I couldn’t be there, but my heart was in Celtic Park at that time and I was in the mood to rejoice with everyone for winning the league.”
Hatate, speaking to media outlet Sportiva, added: “There are still one league game left, but there is one more title Celtic can aim for this season.
“The Final of the Scottish Cup remains to be played against Inverness on June 3. Following the Scottish League Cup and Scottish Premiership, I want to finish this season with the triple crown.”
Hatate will get the opportunity to join in the championship carnival in the east end of Glasgow tomorrow afternoon after Celtic play their last Premiership match of another memorable crusade when Aberdeen provide the opposition.
The attention turns to another silverware showdown against Billy Dodds’ Championship outfit seven days later.