"We will try to win. We are Celtic"; Women's Manager Fran Alonso in determined form ahead of Levante clash
Celtic FC Women boss Fran Alonso has been doing plenty of homework ahead of meeting Levante in an historic night for the club.
The Women’s team will partake in their first ever Champions League tie, a qualifier against Levante in Trondheim. It’s part of a qualification tournament, which you can read about here.
Really, Celtic couldn’t have asked for a more difficult opponent than Levante. Sandwiched between Real and Atletico Madrid in 3rd last season [FlashScore], the Valencia-based outfit have built an impressive squad.
While the Women’s team have come on leaps and bounds since turning professional, it’s undoubtedly Fran Alonso’s biggest managerial test yet. However, the gregarious Spaniard couldn’t sound more delighted about it.
A typically proactive tactician, Alonso’s side have typically imposed their own game on opponents. Against the strength of a side like Levante, it’s an altogether different challenge.
Alonso told 67 Hail Hail:
“We have a game plan, a very clear game plan. We have to organise, they’re a better team than us, at this moment in time. A much more experienced team, and a better team than us.
“So we will try to be aggressive. But in the areas of the pitch where we are going to be aggressive, are the ones where we think we can take advantage. Of course they’ve got weaknesses, they’ve got so many strengths, but they’ve got some weaknesses. And this is what we will try to exploit.
“Our team is very good, very dominant in both boxes. Very good at set plays, we are very good at both transitions, defensively and offensively. “
“We will try to win. We are Celtic”; Fran Alonso understands the expectations of the club
“We will try to maximise the opportunities that we’ve got. I would be probably a little naïve if I thought we are going to dominate the game, because of the talent they’ve got. [But] in my eyes, we are going to be in the game until the end.
“We will try to win. We are Celtic. We need to to try to win.
“In the past we faced similar types of challenge, playing teams that are on paper better than us. Most of the time we managed to get the three points, or the win. So, we will try the same, to exploit those weaknesses.
“But let’s be honest, they don’t have many.”
Levante: a huge test for Celtic, but not an impossible one
All along, Fran Alonso has been proving people wrong during his tenure. Few expected Celtic FC Women to topple Rangers. They did that. Even fewer might’ve anticipated a close-run title race in 20-21. It went to the last day.
So, surprising people and fighting the odds are nothing new to Alonso. Using the breadth of his network in coaching, he’s been doing his homework on Levante. The experienced coach, who’s worked with Everton and Southampton’s Men’s teams, has plenty of contacts to rely upon for advice.
It’s advice he’s sought readily.
With the utter enthusiasm for football Alonso has, it’s hard not to get swept up in optimism. Even when he’s downplaying our chances to a degree, the Celtic manager is capable of getting you excited about an underdog story.
Whether Kelly Clark and the Ghirls can pull off a major upset remains to be seen. But the never say die attitude of this squad and their manager makes you think it’ll be a tough night for the Spanish side.