Five reasons to back the SWPL Cup Champions this Sunday against Motherwell


By Colette Carr

After the exhilarating highs of the Celts lifting their first trophy in over a decade last Sunday, get behind the Hoops this weekend as we look to close 2021 out in style with the visit of Motherwell to the Penny Cars Stadium. 

Heroes homecoming 

With the buzz of Sunday’s heroics still fresh in the mind, get along to the Penny Cars to give Fran Alonso and his players and staff a well-deserved applause and welcome back to league duty. It’s the last opportunity before 2022 to celebrate with the side and enjoy the moment before the second half of the season kicks in and attentions turn to the Scottish Cup.

Three is the magic number

Celtic’s defensive options provide plenty of room for flexibility and it was another controlled and assured job at the back allowing the Hoops to more than control the flow of the final. Kelly Clark assumed the role at the centre of the three, flanked by Cheyenne Shorts on her left and goalscorer Caitlin Hayes at her right, with all three snuffing out Glasgow’s attempts at a way back in.

With the additional support of wingbacks Jodie Bartle and Chloe Craig, both of which throughout their careers have been recognised centre-backs, the three at the back philosophy continues to serve Alonso well and you can take in the nuanced backline for yourself against a strengthened Motherwell side.

Walking in a Wellings Wonderland 

Having done just about everything you would want from your 9 in a cup final, Charlie Wellings’ presence leading the Celtic line at Firhill marked undoubtedly her best performance in the Hoops to date.

Her blistering goal to game ratio has been the highlighted hallmark of her game, but the young English striker’s display in the final put her other attributes under the spotlight proving again what a shrewd signing she has been.

Clipping the post within the opening seconds, the 15-goal striker was clearly in an unforgiving mood and her relentless energy levels let her press throughout the entirety of the high-tempo 90 minutes. Her hold-up play and ability to turn and face, and habit of running defenders ragged with her movement made her a nightmare to defend and guarding the ball at the corner with Tyler Toland deep into injury time was game management levels reminiscent of Moussa Dembele and Patrick Roberts.

Like her other teammates on the day, Wellings turned in a showing well worthy of the winner’s medal draped round her neck headed back to Celtic Park. 

Ring out 2021 in style

If you’re one for the emotions of the last few weeks of the year, head along and help the Ghirls fight a Motherwell side on the up to sign off 2021 with all three points. 

With a number of momentous moments from the year including captain Kelly Clark and vice captain Chloe Craig making their 200th appearances for the club, bringing the 2020/21 title race down to the wire, a Champions League debut and there first piece of silverware in over a decade, get behind the players to cap it all off with another victory.

Captain’s orders

Ahead of kick-off, SWPL Cup winning captain Kelly Clark has this message for the fans:

“Sunday will be the final game in what has been an unforgettable and historic calendar year for us. 

In February we were written off after a poor performance against Glasgow City in the first game back after the Christmas and COVID break, but we went on an unbeaten run lasting beyond the end of the season and into this season. The effect on last year’s league? Champions League football and a mere miss from league success by three points. 

Come July we were preparing to represent this amazing club on the biggest stage in world football. A trip to Norway to play in the Women’s Champions League for the first time in the club’s history. An experience which at the time every one of us would have said was a career high. 

Fast forward to December - more specifically last weekend. 5th December 2021. A cup final against Glasgow City. A chance to win the club’s first bit of silverware in the women’s game since 2010. A chance to win the club’s first bit of silverware since the women’s side turning professional. An unbelievable 90 minutes from every single person involved later, we are 2021 SWPL Cup Champions. Now if you ask the squad for their career high to date I’m not so sure what the answer will be. Maybe 2021 as a whole? 

We look to wrap up the year with another top performance and three points. Motherwell have been on a pretty impressive run and have clearly really settled now under new management and with many new players. There is no easy game and we will have to be at our best once again. 

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support in 2021. I feel like we have really been on a journey with the fans both at home and eventually back in person. Your support has pulled us through difficult times and we are delighted to have given you something to celebrate with our victory in the cup.”

Buy your Celtic v Motherwell tickets now!

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