Fran Alonso's friendship with Victor Wanyama and the former Celtic heroes giving Steven Davis stick

By John McGinley

May 23, 2021

Fran Alonso is about to take charge of one of the biggest matches of his career.

Celtic FC Women face off against their Rangers counterparts today at the Rangers Training Centre.

It could well decide who takes the second Champions League spot on offer to SWPL 1 teams, with Glasgow City now red hot favourites to lift the title.

Alonso was exposed to the rivalry before he even arrived in Glasgow, having mixed with plenty of former high profile Celtic and Rangers players as a first-team coach at Southampton.

He’s been speaking about that experience this weekend, as well as his friendship with former Celtic hero Victor Wanyama.

The head coach told The Scottish Mail on Sunday (23/05 print edition, page 142): “I was at Southampton when they had Steven Davis, Artur Boruc, Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama, Danny Fox and Fraser Forster in the same changing room.

“We used to watch the Glasgow derby together on TV and Steven was bullied every time because there were so many former Celtic players!

“Victor was my closest friend out of all of them and I was always supporting Celtic with him.

“This fixture feels amazing. I have experienced two of them as a manager and it was an unbelievable feeling.”

The thought of Boruc winding up Davis is a good one indeed. Would have loved to see that!

Heading into this campaign Celtic were expected to finish third in the SWPL, so a victory over Rangers again this season and an eventual second-place finish would be a massive achievement for Alonso and his side.

Celtic FC Women head coach Fran Alonso / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Experiencing Champions League football for the first time would be a real boost to the Women’s project at the club.

Unbeaten in nine matches, eight of which have been wins, there’s every reason to think they will be competitive today.

The game kicks off at 4:10 pm and will be broadcast live on BBC Alba.

In other news, Celtic fans not impressed with the latest Olivier Ntcham rumour.