Women’s Football Weekend: The beginners guide to Celtic FC Women


By Colette Carr

With no men’s action this weekend it’s the perfect opportunity to dip into the ever-evolving world of women’s football, and with the Celts in a League Cup semi-final tomorrow, there’s no better time to start backing the Ghirls.

Akin to Non-League Football Day, the initiative started in England to encourage fans to get behind the women’s game while getting their weekend football fix as the men set off on international duty, and it’s no different in Scotland this weekend with Fran Alonso’s squad ready to take centre-stage.

So if you’re new to the women’s team at Celtic head along to Stirling’s Forthbank Stadium tomorrow (14 November) and watch on as they bid for their place in the SWPL Cup final next month, and in the meantime, here’s a whistle-stop guide to what you need to know about Celtic FC Women. 

Who we are

The current Celtic squad under manager Fran Alonso’s direction is comprised of a cleverly-crafted blend of experience, youth, Scottish and international talent. With the old-guard of Kelly Clark, Chloe Craig, Natalie Ross, Rachel Donaldson and Chloe Logan having been in the team since the club’s amateur days, they provide a steady leadership in the new and exciting squad.

Alonso and his backroom team have never shied away from giving youth a chance. Rebecca McAllister is in her second term with the first team while 19-year-old forward Kathleen McGovern is in her fourth season with the senior side. Moreover, teenagers Rachael Johnstone, Tegan Bowie and Chloe Warrington have all signed their first professional contracts with the club.

The club have looked beyond the Scottish Borders to bolster its ranks and boast eight other nationalities within the playing squad. English Ghirls Jodie Bartle, Caitlin Hayes and Charlie Wellings are all regular faces in Alonso’s starting eleven, while Tyler Toland and Izzy Atkinson bring the luck of the Irish from across the water with Iceland’s Maria Olafsdottir Gros making up the European contingent.

Celtic’s reach goes cross-continent with players linking up with the Ghirls from all four corners of the world to create a brilliantly diverse group of players. Hailing from North America are Canadian Clarissa Larisey and Americans Sarah Harkes and Cheyenne Shorts, while New Zealand Olympian Olivia Chance and Australia’s Jacynta star as the Hoops from down under.

Bringing together the group is the UK’s first ever Chinese female professional footballer Shen Mengyu, who wrote history with her move to Celtic in the summer of 2021.

Get to know the Ghirls here.

How we’re doing

The 21/22 season has already been a historic one for the Hoops. After a successful transition season last year into professionalism, this year has stepped up a level. Moving full-time to Celtic Park and Barrowfield, our season began with our inaugural appearance in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. After securing our European debut in May, the Hoops headed to Norway to face Levante of Spain and Minsk in Round One, and while ultimately losing out on progression by a single goal, it set the foundations for a tough campaign ahead.

The Celts currently sit third in the SWPL1 table just five points off top spot, but are in League Cup semi-final action tomorrow afternoon as they continue to chase the first available piece of silverware.

Where we play

Celtic FC Women’s home games are held at Airdrie’s Penny Cars Stadium with tickets priced at £8 per adult and £4 concessions. Ticket sales are online only and onsite parking is available at £2.

How to support us this Sunday

Celtic take to the Forthbank Stadium in Stirling on Sunday evening and tickets are priced at just £5 for adults and £2 for concessions and can be bought on the gate.

The stadium is in Springkerse (FK7 7UJ) and has free parking for home and away fans at the stadium however this is limited and shared with users at The Peak facility.

If you can’t make it along in person though, make sure to watch the action unfold live on Scottish Women’s Football’s YouTube channel.

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