Celtic FC Women set for first Glasgow Derby under Paradise lights

By Euan Davidson

April 21, 2021

Celtic are to face Rangers in a Glasgow Derby again this week.

However, this time, it’s at Paradise, and it’ll be Fran Alonso leading the Celtic team. The Women’s side, fresh from a 5-1 mauling of Spartans, couldn’t be better prepared for tonight’s clash.

For the first time in the SWPL, a league match will be played at Celtic Park as the club makes SWPL history and it’s a big moment. Not least, because the Derby will be televised on BBC Alba. It follows the Spartans game, which was aired live on BBC’s Football website.

The last time the sides met was in November, with a Summer Green winner ensuring three points for the Ghirls [SWPL].

Fran Alonso, speaking to Celtic’s in-house media, sounded beyond determined and excited by the opportunity. After the free-flowing, attacking football on Sunday, there’s real optimism going into this one. Celtic FC Women could close the gap on Rangers and Glasgow City to just two points with a win under the Paradise lights.

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Yesterday, Alonso told Celtic’s Tony Connelly:

“We want to win every single game. Tomorrow we have the ambition to take all three-points. We’re not going to be intimidated by any opposition, although we respect them and know they are very good. Success, when you represent Celtic, is winning and second is not good enough.

“I anticipate a very good football game. Both sides have a lot of quality players, both like to play good quality football and the pitch is perfect.”

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

Another big opportunity for Celtic FC Women in a fascinating Glasgow Derby clash

Speaking of the benefits of the broadcasting and the venue, Alonso continued [Celtic FC]:

“[The players] are very excited. We have some 16-year-old girls who have never been there and it’s going to be a very special moment for them that they’ll never forget. Some of our players have already played there so they know what to expect. We are all really excited about the opportunity.

“It’s a very good day for women’s football and I love the fact it will be shown live on BBC. It’s great for the women’s game that this game is going to be played at Celtic Park.”

Since turning professional, Celtic have put real effort into showcasing the talents of the women’s team. There have been benefits on the park, securing talents like the electric Jacynta Galabadaarachchi and defensive battler Jodie Bartle.

Equally, home-grown talents have benefitted, with prolific goalscorer Sarah Ewans bursting the net repeatedly since the return of Women’s League football.

Against a hungry Rangers side, Alonso and his charges know they’ve got a difficult task ahead of them. But as the Spartans game showed, this is a side with real attacking talent. Here’s hoping they’ve got too much for the Gers on a landmark night at Celtic Park.

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