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Izzy Atkinson delighted with start to life at Celtic

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By Colette Carr

Despite spending over a month waiting for the green light for SWPL1 clubs to restart training, Izzy Atkinson has settled into her new environment faster than she could have ever imagined, much to the exciting 19-year-old's delight.

The Dubliner joins Celtic from Women’s National League outfit Shelbourne and admitted she felt like she’d already known her new teammates for weeks after just three days and explained how she believes Celtic will be a great fit for her progression.

“I’m just absolutely buzzing to get training. I flew over on the Friday and started training on the Sunday so it was a quick turnover, but since I’ve started training I feel a lot more relaxed and settled in. I’ve been getting to know the girls and been loving training since.

“I like to just get going with things straight away, and when I found out we were starting I only had two days, so it was a lot, but I was glad that I could get started straight away, so the quick turnaround was good. It also meant I settled in a lot better too. 

“I feel like I’ve known the girls for weeks already and I’ve only known them three days. Everyone’s so lovely and friendly, and having the other new girls is nice in that I’m not the only newbie.

“Fran was in touch and was very friendly and didn’t put any pressure or anything on me, but he was talking about the standard and style of play, and it really suits me because I like to move the ball, dribble it, not play it long. So when Fran spoke about how we play, it’s exactly how I’ve always wanted to .

“My dad said it would really suit me, so I obviously wanted to come. I have very high hopes for Celtic; I don’t see why we can’t get Champions League so I’m feeling really positive and hope I can help the girls out,” she said. 

Atkinson follows in the footsteps of fellow Irishwoman Keeva Keenan, who moved to Glasgow City from Shelbourne before switching to Celtic, and having her Republic of Ireland teammate to turn to is a great source of comfort for the wide player.

“I know Keeva as well and I’m staying with the other girls which has been great.

"It’s good to have someone from Dublin as well so it’s nice to have her - it’s good to have a friendly face I can go to if I need anything. She is quite mammy as well in helping me out and stuff, so I’m glad to have her,” she explained.

And her ambitions don’t just stop with the domestic game. Having made her senior Ireland debut at 17, Atkinson is keen to retain her place in the IRLWNT team’s plans, hoping success on both sides of the Irish Sea can go hand in hand.

“I obviously want to stay in the senior Ireland squad, but this is obviously my first time as a professional in that kind of environment, so being in training everyday around everyone, being independent, living away from home and stuff that I’ve never done before is probably the bigger step I’ve to take.

“My goal within the next few years would obviously to get a starting place with Ireland, but if I  just stay in the squad for now and play well here I’d be happy,” she added.


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