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Aaron Mooy confesses Celtic career revival hasnt soaked in a

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Aaron Mooy confesses Celtic career revival hasnt soaked in after Champions League and World Cup journey

The Australian is back to his best in Scotland after a big money move to China failed to kickstart his career.

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The Celtic Park sound system boomed out Daddy Cool and the Hoops fans chanted his name asAaron Mooytook a second to take it all in. The Aussie ace had the luxury of pausing for a moment with his side strolling to Scottish Cup victory against Morton.

And while Mooy still had work to do with his managerAnge Postecogoudemanding full tilt until the final whistle, the midfielder couldnt help but be transported back to last summer. There was no music of chanting back then. No hero worshiping from the stands. The only things Mooy heard back then was the sounds of the birds cheeping and the dogs barking as he did laps around his local park in Glasgow in a desperate bid to stay fit after returning home from China while he waited for the phone to ring.

Postecoglou made the call and seven months later the player still cant quite believe the turnaround in circumstances. A deal at Celtic, a leading role at theWorld Cupwith Australia and a newfound cult status among the Parkhead faithful. Mooy bagged two goals against the Greenock men and sitting in the stands afterwards he admitted hes still struggling to get his head around a dizzying few months.

The 32-year-old said: No, I couldnt have imagined this happening. Im just enjoying it, letting it all soak in. because you never know what can happen in life or in football. Thats why I take every day as it comes. It definitely makes me appreciate it more, when I think back to the summer, because I had a hard couple of years. Now that Im here, Im really focusing on enjoying my football. Its been a good year so far, lots of experiences. Playing at the World Cup, competing in theChampions Leaguefor a big club like Celtic. Im just trying to make the most if it, soak it all in and try to get better.

It looks like he is. Mooy impressed in Qatar as the Socceroos qualified for the knockout stages and hes been bang in form since he returned to Scotland. Theres no signs of post-World Cup burnout, thats for sure. Mooy said: It is a bit emotionally tiring. The World Cup takes it out of you because every game you feel is just so big. You feel I dont know, its hard to explain unless youve been through it.

But its an emotional thing, playing at the World Cup, representing your country. Fortunately, it was in the middle of the season, rather than at the end. I think playing in the World Cup at the end of the season could have really knocked it out of you. But in some ways it just feels like part of the season. The fact that Australia had a good tournament maybe makes it easier, too. That helps, I think. Yeah, Ive probably been more consistent since coming back from the World Cup. I dont know. I dont like to talk about myself.

Celtics Aaron Mooy (centre left) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring their sides first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the Scottish Cup fourth round match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Saturday January 21, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.

That last part is the understatement of the year. Mooy is far more comfortable running a midfield than talking to the media. A huge presence on the field, hes almost shy off it. Theres almost a hint of embarrassment when asked about his goal scoring exploits as he slotted the penalty opener on Saturday, buried a smart second late on and had chances to complete a hat trick and more.

Thats five for the season now for the Socceroo and while his goals are a bonus, its the 32-year-olds performances that have won over an entire support who expected the former St Mirren and Huddersfield man to be simply a squad padder when he arrived last summer. Mooy said: Im trying my best to get on the score sheet, hit the post and had another couple of chances, so probably should have ended up with more but Ill settle for two.

I dont know if Im now a goal scoring midfielder. I dont know if youve followed my career, different parts of it. But some managers have liked to use me in a deeper role, others have played me further forward. I just try to fit into the system. Im learning the system here every day, trying to get better at it every day. And the one thing about it is you are going to get chances to score. Hopefully I can keep taking those chances.

Celtic missed two penalties this season before Mooy landed spot kick duties and its now two from two for the Aussie. Hes happy to take the responsibility even if he didnt ask for it. Mooy said: I didnt put my name forward, the coaches decided. But Ive taken penalties before, at my previous clubs, so thats maybe what their research showed.

I genuinely dont know who put me forward! They do this set-piece meeting before the games and youre just told: Right, youre on penalties. You take this corner. Im on penalties for certain games but I dont know who would be ahead of me, to be honest. Youd have to ask the staff.

These are exciting times for Mooy and his Parkhead pals with the Viaplay Cup Final on the horizon, a stranglehold on the Premiership and now Scottish Cup progress. Mooy was typically understated when asked about the prospect of a clean sweep. He said: Were not supposed to talk about that sort of thing! But yeah, of course, everybody wants to win trophies and win titles. Thats what we all want to do.

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