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Alonso ready for first taste of Scottish football

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After a short, but very intense preseason with the club, new manager Fran Alonso can’t wait for competitions to get started, as he readies himself for life in Scottish football.

The manager’s short time so far at the club has been whirlwind-like, with a number of media engagements on his first day, before jetting off to Gran Canaria to face Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen and Canarian outfit Union Viera in a crammed training camp before welcoming Dublin’s DLR Waves to Scotland.

But despite the jam-packed three weeks since his appointment, he told of the real progress he already sees in his side, as Celtic’s first group game of the SWPL Cup against Glasgow Women looms.

“It’s very important to get started with the competitions now,” he began, “I think our preparations have been good and we had our best performance against Waves on a very difficult surface.

“The girls were brilliant and I was very proud of how we played on the uneven surface but I think the quality was very good and sets us up well for Glasgow Women, we’re all looking forward to it.”

Celtic have enjoyed a preseason full of positives to take into the new term. In between learning the manager’s new system and adapting to the new culture they missed out 3-1 against Leverkusen, beat Viera 7-0 and ran out 4-0 winners against Waves on a rain-soaked pitch. And the strides the players have taken haven’t gone unnoticed.

“Between the first and third game, we look like a totally different team. It’s the same personnel with a couple of additions but they now better understand their relationships and positions on the pitch. We’ll work non-stop until the game at the weekend, but I see a big difference. It’s not the end product yet, but we are all very excited by how well we are doing so far,” he said.

Despite Celtic’s opening game of the decade coming against SWPL2 opposition, the manager said that won’t factor into preparations.

“We are a division above and we may seem like favourites, but especially in cup competitions, you can see so-called underdogs beat so-called favourites, so we take nothing for granted.

“We need to show humility and we will have to be very aggressive like we would any team and be respectful and ambitious. We will have the exact same motivation for any game as we have a job to represent the football club. We’ll work hard and try to play good football.

“We haven’t won anything yet to call ourselves favourites, so we will do everything with respect,” he told.


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