You have to believe the best is yet to come, says Hayes


By Colette Carr

Heading into Sunday’s game, centre half Caitlin Hayes is mindful of the privileged position she and her teammates find themselves in returning to competitive action, but is determined to set right their opening day defeat to Sunday’s hosts Glasgow City nonetheless. 

Hayes’ debut came in September’s SBS SWPL1 opener, Celtic’s only defeat of the campaign so far, and has since cemented her place in Fran Alonso’s defence, and is ready to finally get back to competitive action with a perfect acid test in the form of the reigning champions, as reiterated the importance of believing that the best is yet to come.

“It’s just the feeling of joy and thankfulness to be able to play the game during these times,” she began, “we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of the pandemic, but we’re privileged to be able to play in such a time.

“I’m just grateful to be back training, grateful for the Scottish weather that’s sometimes arriving, which I shouldn’t jinx, but just grateful.

“It’s a good opportunity to repeat that test like at the start of the season, but also to correct what didn’t go right last time, make our mark and start better than we did then. We’ve learned from the mistakes that we made and everything has just been better this time around, so hopefully that will be proven on Sunday.”

With the mental strain of not knowing the women’s game would resume in Scotland, closely followed by the announcement that fourteen fixtures are set to be completed over a matter of weeks, the Englishwoman believes mental resilience will still need to come into play for the Celts. With the congested fixture card having mounted up due to the suspension, Hayes reiterated her strong mantra that you need to believe the best is yet to come.

“We have Andy who’s new in to warm us up and physically train us, so if you have someone in to physically train your body you should take into account that you do need to mentally train yourself as well, however you decide and however your routine allows to get you ready. That’s something else we’ve learned along the way and it’s definitely hard, but we’re still grateful to get back going. 

“A lot of the girls already know what I’ll say if they ask how I am, and will say it before me, and it’s “better than yesterday and worse than tomorrow.” Just having that perspective each morning and waking up, knowing it’s better than yesterday and that the best is yet to come, I think you get a lot out of that,” she said.

Since Celtic were last in action, Hayes and her flatmates have welcomed in more new faces into their home in the form of the winter signings, something else that Hayes is grateful for, as she gears up for Sunday’s big test.

“Thankfully with my past life experiences, I’m used to upping and going and meeting new people. It’s been good banter and getting to know them and finding out about each other. They bring a lot to the team on the field but also off the field which is also an asset.

“I’m just excited for the opportunity to be back with the girls and play the game we love together. Obviously, that makes me sound a little soft, but we’ve definitely got the competitive edge and determination to put right what was wrong,” she added.

Celtic play Glasgow City in the Scottish Building Society Scottish Women's Premier League 1 on Sunday April 4 in a 4:10pm kick-off. Catch the action live on BBC Alba.

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