Faycal Rherras has revealed he was sold on a move to Hearts after hearing about the first-team’s family-like spirit.
The Belgian-born Moroccan defender signed a three-year contract with the Jam Tarts earlier this week and is already settling into life in Edinburgh thanks to his welcoming teammates, and in particular Arnaud Djoum.
Speaking to the heartsfc.co.uk, Faycal said: “Of course, I’m happy to be here. I heard a lot of good things about this club, that it is like a family club. I’m just very happy to be here.
“For sure, it’s easier when you come to another country and you don’t really speak the language that you have someone who can help you.
“I’m happy that Arnaud is here and I will try to learn the language as quickly as possible.”
The prospect of European football excites Faycal, as does the upcoming 2016/17 Premiership season. His ambitions are to one day play at the top level in England, but for now he’s focused on improving both himself and the team here at Hearts.
“I’ve heard good things about the competition in Scotland,” he said. “My dream is to play in England, and I know that in Scotland the league is similar in physicality and the style of football that is played in England.
“This move is a chance for me to do well and adapt to those characteristics, and to one day achieve my dream of playing football. That’s why it is positive to come here and play well.
“Of course, for every player it is good to play in Europe. The Europa League is a very good competition and now I have the chance to play in it, which makes me very happy. I hope that we will qualify for the group stages.”
Competition for first-team places is fierce, with many talented defenders on the books and young stars waiting in the wings. Facyal insists that he’s ready to prove himself and is up for the fight to establish himself in the top team.
“Every footballer knows that they have competition for their position,” he stated. I am ready, I know that I have the capacity to help the team play better.
“I’m not scared about it, I’ll give my all and Robbie Neilson will make the decision on who is going to play.”