Celtic FC Women gearing up for local derby as SWPL edges towards return

By Euan Davidson

March 31, 2021

Celtic FC Women are set to return to competitive action.

With Women’s football, SPFL leagues below the Championship and Amateur football delayed by Covid, it’s taken time.

Celtic take on Glasgow City, 14-times winners of the Scottish Women’s Premier League, this Sunday. It’s no small ask for Fran Alonso’s side, especially with the amount of squad turnover. However, there’s real optimism about this season, having secured top talents from Ireland, the US and England.

Between the weekend and the last time Celtic FC Women played, the squad has seen some new faces arrive. Anna Filbey, Mariah Lee, Jacynta Galabadaarchchi and Izzy Atkinson all joined in January [Celtic FC Women], but have only played a couple of friendlies in preparation for the weekend.

The Women’s team haven’t ever won the SWPL, last finishing runners-up in 2010. However, it’s a different looking league this season. For one thing, there’ll be more attention on the games. The BBC are set to air a record number of Scottish Women’s Football matches [Scotsman], including Celtic v Glasgow City on BBC Alba.

There’s also a degree of sentiment to the return of league action. Sarah Teegarden has returned to the squad after an ACL injury picked up before lockdown struck.

Sarah Teegarden (7), now of Celtic FC Women / (Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Preparation is everything, as Celtic FC Women gear up for return of SWPL 1

Earlier in March, Celtic FC Women manager Fran Alonso talked about returning to training. He said [Celtic FC Women]:

“We were looking forward to it and it’s been great.”

“We’ve had a long week with no day off for eight days, but it was just important to spend more time together socially. When we aren’t training we have to stay at home, even more so now that we are testing, so it’s important for me that we get this contact time every day, even if the intensity on the pitch isn’t so high because we are monitoring the volume and the load.

“But it’s fantastic to be back and we’re looking forward to the next three weeks and the start of the season.”

Ahead of SWPL 1 returning, Celtic sit third in the table, just two points off Rangers at the top. A win over Glasgow City and a negative result for Rangers would put Alonso’s side at the summit after 8 matches [Scottish Women’s Football].

READ MORE: Next season could offer huge promise for Academy graduate