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Elhamed is raring to go after a raucous welcome at Parkhead

 

By Andy Newport

Hatem Abd Elhamed hopes he can vindicate his reception after being bowled over by the Parkhead crowd.

The Israel international was introduced to the Celtic fans at half-time during their 5-0 Champions League qualifying win over Nomme Kalju after completing his move from Hapoel Be'er Sheva earlier in the day.

"It was amazing when I went on the field, to see all the fans and this amazing stadium," the 28-year-old defender said. "It was very exciting. Hopefully, I can prove I deserve to be part of Celtic.

"I'm very happy and proud to be a Celtic player. Celtic is a very famous club in the world.

"There are various channels in Israel that always show the games live. Many Israeli players have been here so I know a lot about Celtic.

"They are a club that always wants to win trophies and to go through to the Champions League, things I also want to do."

Elhamed was a team-mate of former Celtic player Efe Ambrose and current Hoops star Nir Bitton at Ashdod and made some enquiries ahead of his move.

"I spoke with Nir and Beram (Kayal) and they said very good things about the people here and the club," he said. "They say it's like a family here and that I can do good things here."

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