Celtic FC Women boss Fran Alonso looking for "constant development" after Levante Champions League lesson

By Euan Davidson

August 20, 2021

Fran Alonso is looking to build on his Celtic FC Women side’s spirited performance against Levante in the Champions League.

In an unusual qualifying format, Celtic faced the Primera División’s third-placed side [FlashScore] on Wednesday, before a third-place playoff tomorrow against FC Minsk.

Celtic lost 2-1 on the night, but went right at the Spanish team for 90 minutes. In truth, they were unfortunate to have been on the losing side, on the night.

Ahead of the Minsk game, which could boost Celtic’s qualifying coefficient next season, Alonso set out his determination to learn from the defeat. He told 67 Hail Hail:

“Of course, I want to come here [again]. I’ve never been in the Champions League before, I was in the Europa League in the men’s game, but this is the best experience I have [had] in Europe.

“We always learn. I learn from opposition managers, I learn from opposition teams. I think we can learn a lot from Levante, tactically. Some of their build-up play was outstanding. So obviously we will analyse this afterwards.

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“It’s about constant development. For players and for managers. But what I would say, is the players I’ve got make the management team and the coaching team look better. All the credit would be… with the team because you cannot teach fight. You either feel it or they don’t, and this is what they do.

“They feel the logo, the crest and they fight for it and for their teammates, and that’s credit to them.”

Fran Alonso continues to impress as Celtic FC Women manager, with Minsk win on the agenda

Tomorrow, Celtic face a vastly experienced FC Minsk side. 7-time Belarussian Premier League winners, they’ve also won the Baltic Women’s League [Soccerway] and played plenty of Champions League football.

Yet, as per usual, there’s not an ounce of fear from the Celtic camp. Both Fran Alonso and Caitlin Hayes, a goal-scorer against Levante, sounded utterly confident of their abilities, and you can understand why.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

While, yes, Levante outclassed Celtic on the evening, with their top-level and international experience making the difference, underrating this Celtic side is a fool’s errand. When Minsk turn up to greet Alonso and co in Trondheim tomorrow, they ought to expect a game.

As for Alonso himself, he really seems to be taking in everything from the experience. The passion and intensity of the man is clear to see – ask a UEFA referee after Wednesday – and it’s obvious that he’s barely got started in terms of where he wants to take this team.

First, Minsk, then the SWPL title. After that? Who knows.

Read more: Key Celtic man talks about his new role

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