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Haley praises Academy cup comeback


Academy News

Academy manager David Haley hailed the character of his players after a last-minute winner sent them through to the next round of the SWFL1 Cup, following a dramatic clash that seen Celtic go down in the opening stages and being reduced to ten players.

 “It was really good,” Haley said of the result and performance, “It was a tough, physical game and to get the late winner in that manner, after going down to ten players was brilliant. It was a great changing room after.”

Celtic had swept Boroughmuir aside the week before in the league 4-1 and played them in a pre-season friendly, but despite taking up temporary residence in Edinburgh and having two games against them to reflect on, Haley admitted it all goes out the window in cup ties.

“We said in the changing room beforehand that it’s a one-off tie and we knew it’d be physical and they’d be a different team from the previous week. We’ve played them so many times recently, it’s good to get into the next round.

“My car just automatically goes to Edinburgh now!”

Despite the early hiccup, Haley explained that the threat to their hopes of retaining the cup was enough to rally his side.

“We said at half-time, “is this honestly where we want to go out of a competition?” We’ve got to the final the last two years and won it last year so we continue that and it’s certainly an aim to win as many trophies as we can when they’re at Academy level. It’s certainly a competition we feel we have a good chance of winning.”

While only two games in, Celtic have maintained a 100% start to 2019, despite losing a number of players to international duty at different age groups. Haley said the depth and quality in the squad didn’t leave them with too much of a personnel headache.

“It’s difficult just now, because there are a lot of Scotland camps and we’ve got a lot of girls involved so it’s difficult at the moment to get a sustained period of the same team and gain a bit of momentum, but the players have responded really well and whether they have or haven’t been in the team, everyone’s reaction has been first class,” he explained.

And while the call-ups are great for the Academy and club’s reputation, it has also presented a great opportunity for other girls in the side to step up and give the coaches something to think about.

“It gives opportunities for other players to stake their claim and every player so far has played well so it gives us a headache to make sure we get the correct team. With the quality we’ve got I’m sure it’ll continue that way,” Haley added.

Celtic travel to Rangers Development in the next round of the SWFL1 Cup on Sunday 3 March.

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