“Brilliant” teammates have helped me settle, says Bartle


New defender Jodie Bartle has credited her “brilliant” teammates for making her first time away from England so enjoyable as she settles into life in Scottish football.

The former Coventry United centre-half moved north of the border in January after a whirlwind move but has found her feet quickly thanks to the players around her she says.

“I’m settled now," she told.

"When anyone asks, I always say it makes it a lot easier when the girls are as brilliant as they are and they’ve shown that every single session. There hasn’t been one time when I've felt unwelcome, so it makes me feel a lot more settled."

Living with the other non-Scottish players has played its part, but having the others call round regularly has really helped them gel, both on and off the pitch.

“Being in the flat with a lot of them is quite nice, because we’re all in the same boat. Living with the Celtic girls is really nice. I’m loving it. 

“It’s my first time out of England so it’s nice to have the girls in and around you all the time, and the team is happy to come to ours and hang out which is nice, so it’s very sociable. We went to a quiz night the other night which was good, so it’s great that we’ve all clicked and getting on like a house on fire," she told.

The defender's first foray out of the English game has also been something she's had to adapt to, but having tasted SWPL1 football against the champions already, she's glad to get a grasp of it.

“It was interesting to play against Glasgow because they are the top team, so it was good to get a feel for the speed of Scottish football and that was a big step up.  I can’t pinpoint what the difference quite is, but it’s good. 

“To be honest, I didn’t quite know how big the game was going to be. The build-up, feeling in the changing room and while we were playing meant you felt it was a big game, and the size of it. 

“I found the first half a bit more challenging, but grew into it a lot more in the second half. I very nearly scored, so I was gutted it didn’t go in, but that feeling when Kel scored the winner was so good. You looked over to the bench and Fran was going mental and everyone else was, you could hear the fans through the whole game but even more so then, so the atmosphere was awesome," she added.

Celtic play Hearts at the Oriam on Sunday, March 15 in the SWPL1.

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