First Team

Ryo's on the ball

30th December 2019

Ryotaro Meshino believes he is now up to speed with both his teammates and Scottish football as a whole as he looks to kick on in 2020.

The Japanese forward made Tynecastle erupt yesterday with a sublime finish past Joe Lewis from distance as Hearts picked up their first point under Daniel Stendel after a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen.

His third goal in a maroon shirt, Ryotaro thinks he could’ve scored more on the day but will keep up the hard graft as he now feels he’s sussed out his surroundings following his loan move from Manchester City.

“After 3-4 months I now have a better understanding of my teammates and the style of play in this league,” he said. “I can sense where the ball will come, where to receive the ball, and create scoring opportunities.

“That was probably my favourite angle and distance, and I've been working on it in training, so I'm glad I was able to score.

“I had some chances in the 1st half as well, and could've scored two or three to be honest.

“It was difficult after we went down to 10 men, but we are heading in the right direction.

“2019 was a great year for me personally, and I want to keep working hard.

“In 2020 there is the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but first and foremost I want to help this team and develop as a player myself. If that leads to (being selected for) the Olympics that would be ideal.

“But before that, we need to win as many games as possible, and I want to contribute by scoring as many goals as I can.”

Quotes provided by - and should be attributed to if reproduced - Hideo Tamaru, Kyodo News