By: Hibernian Media on 17 Jul, 2019 16:33
It’s a long time since Josh Vela sat down for an introductory interview.
The midfielder was part of the furniture at Bolton after a 17-year spell with The Trotters.
With the club enduring a difficult period on and off the park, Josh admits it was a wrench to leave in some respects, but he had no hesitation in putting pen to paper on a three-year contract at Easter Road.
Josh, what attracted you to Hibernian?
It was a few things, really. I fancied a change, in a new environment. Last season at Bolton wasn’t great on a personal level and the problems there have been well documented. I hope there are better times ahead because the club means a lot to me. The staff did so much to help me out over the years and I had a good relationship with the supporters so they all deserve to enjoy their football again. My agent mentioned Hibs had been really persistent, which is what you want to hear as a player, to feel wanted. When I did my homework it all looked good, so here I am. I want to get back to my best and, ultimately, I’ve come here to push Hibs on.
What did Paul Heckingbottom say he expected from you?
We had a really good chat and it made a big impression on me. He went into real detail about what he wants – from me as a person and a player – and how he thoughts I could deliver on those specifics. I’ve not seen that before. I give 100 per cent in every game. I like to get on the ball, to make things happen and I’m not afraid to get stuck in. I don’t mind a tackle.
As you said, it’s a new environment for you. How much do you know about Scottish football?
I’m always watching football from all over, so I’ve seen Scottish football on television for years. Coming here to play in some big games was a real incentive. From the people I spoke to and what I know from doing some homework of my own, Hibs seem to be a club on the up who are doing things the right way. I want to be part of that.
Is it fair to say Christian Doidge had a word in your ear?
Christian has been on at me! He sent a few messages, telling me to get myself up the road, what a great set-up there is here and how I’d like the gaffer. He’s not wrong. Like I said, my first impressions of the gaffer were good, and the training ground is top class.
Christian’s only just in the door here as well, obviously. What should supporters anticipate from him?
Christian is a really good lad who will be popular in the dressing room. He’s lively and likes a laugh at the right times and he’s a really good player. I’d expect him to score a good few goals up here because he certainly has it in him.
Our season has started and most of the boys have been here for a few weeks now. How is your own fitness?
Clearly there is no substitute for games, so it will take me a bit of time to get fully up to speed, but I have been doing as much as I can on my own in preparation for getting fixed up. I’ve been working hard every day with a personal trainer for the last few weeks so hopefully I can bed in quickly and show what I’m all about.