Canavan: No better start than tough Aberdeen test


New under-19s co-captain Kaitlyn Canavan hopes the Hoops can begin their title defence with winning ways, as they head up to last season’s runners up Aberdeen for the first game of the season.

And like the first team, the young Hoops have been handed the most difficult start to their league campaign, but Canavan is relishing the challenge and hopes they can follow Fran Alonso’s side’s lead.

“I’m really looking forward to the first league game because it’s obviously a very tough opponent up at Aberdeen. They were the team that challenged most for the title last season, so it’ll be good to play them first to see where they are as a team, but most importantly we’re looking for the three points,” she began.

“It’s good that we have that in the first game, and it’s a coincidence that the same happened with the first team, but we always look up to them as role models, so if they can go out and do it against City, there’s no reason we can’t go and do the same against Aberdeen.”

Canavan is one of a number of last season’s Academy squad players that have linked up with the under-19s following the league restructure. And the merging of the two successful squads has been an easy one she says, as they look ahead to the new era.

“I’m just looking to get as much out the rest of my teammates as I get out of myself. I’ll maintain the high standards, because at Celtic, no matter what league it is we remain professional.

“We’ve gelled quite well and because Celtic have always trained quite closely together, it isn’t completely new faces and the whole Girls Academy already had that bond before the leagues changed anyway,” she said.

The under-19s’ tough preseason has been complimented by sessions with the first team under Alonso, and the co-captain is hopeful they can use that experience wisely.

“The intensity and pace at first team is much more physically demanding and having professional players there now helps too, but for us we’re loving having the opportunity to come in under the new manager, and not only show him what we can do, but show ourselves what we are capable. We can then hopefully put it all into practice and go into our games that wee bit above everyone else,” she admitted.

And with the added responsibility of the armband this season, the attacker can’t wait to see what she can bring to the role.

“It’s a step up for me but I’m really chuffed to have been given the privilege. Elise (McCormick) and I work really well together, but I’m one of the older people in the team, and maybe have that wee bit more experience, so I’ll try and get everyone up to that level.

“I think the staff have noticed I’ve taken on more of a leadership role this season than i have previously, so I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. Now I have that co-captaincy, I’m not going to change anything, I’ll just keep treating people the way I was treating them and maintain the respect I have for everyone, but also demanding higher standards,” she said.

Celtic play Aberdeen in the first Under-19s National Performance League game on Sunday, March 1 at Aberdeen Sports Village in a 2pm kick-off.

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