Defensive duo "only getting stronger" believes Hayes


By Colette Carr

For defender Caitlin Hayes, Celtic’s strong defensive unit they are creating is no accident, and she believes it will be essential in a SWPL1 campaign that will pose more threats than it’s given credit for. 

The only blemish the Hoops have on their report card so far is the season opener, and while the central defender refuses to fall back on excuses for their display against league leaders Glasgow City, she takes confidence from how the defensive partnerships she has now forged have grown. 

“At the time I wasn’t too comfortable with saying that it was the lack of prep, because I think that’s an excuse for us just not turning up on the day,” Hayes began, “but going through the Rangers game, I personally think the back four and the relationship we’ve now created is nowhere near what it was when we played Glasgow. It’s just testament to the hard work and what we’ve put into it over the last couple of months.”

Hayes pointed to her fellow centre half Kelly Clark in particular and looked at the trust they have created, a trust that has seen them concede only twice since the opening day. 

“Without being too soppy, there’s definitely no relationship like there is with the centre back partnership - it’s crucial.

“My relationship with Kelly is only getting stronger with each game as we continue to learn and lean on each other both on and off the pitch. The element of trust is paramount which is something again that’s only gaining strength, it’s reassuring to know if I mess up she’s got me and of course vice versa,” she explained.

With experience south of the border, the States and in Cyprus, Hayes is settling into another new challenge in the SWPL1, one she is fast learning is a competitive one, saying: “I think when you look at the Forfar v Rangers and Glasgow City v Hearts and see how there was only one goal in them for a good while, and when we played Spartans you can see the challenge they can pose.

“As much as people think the top three may run away with it, I think it’s testament to the others that they are putting themselves into it and still challenging, so each week you have to turn up to training with an open mind and willingness to work, because you know at the end of the week you’ll have a tough game no matter who it is.”

And with Forfar up next, focus is key says Hayes, as she shares her hopes that the Hoops can continue to improve. 

“We’ve just got to maintain that focus and keep having the perspective that we don’t fear any team, but we respect all of them, and as long as we show that utmost respect and turn up with our own game plan and work ethic then I think we will reap what we deserve,” she added. 

Celtic play Forfar Farmington on Sunday December 6 at K-Park in a 2pm kick-off. Watch live on 

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