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“German adventure made us raise our standards”

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Emma Black against Forfar

Emma Black expressed her pride at the team’s opening day performance against Forfar, and credited the pre-season trip to Germany with showing the Ghirls the level to aim for.

The full-back joined Celtic in January bringing vital experience of not only winning silverware with Glasgow City and Motherwell, but Champions League football and is keen to impart her knowledge and wealth of experience onto her teammates.

As one of Scottish women’s football’s most decorated players, Black is hoping to hit high heights with Celtic and said coming up against Champions League quality opposition in January left the Hoops wanting more.

“It’s been a long pre-season – it’s been dark, long nights in miserable weather so to finally come to matchday everyone was really looking forward to it, we couldn’t get out the changing room quick enough.

“Germany was a wee wake up call for a lot of us. That’s the standard that is set across Europe at the top level, especially the Champions League teams we competed against so that’s the benchmark we want to get to.

“After that trip and the girls seeing that level, we now know to take that to another level in training and you saw that on Sunday because everyone was flying and looked very fit and sharp,” she said.

The defender won last season’s Scottish Building Society SWPL2 with Motherwell who were outsiders for the title at the beginning of 2018, and she believes there’s nothing to say Celtic can’t also cause an upset given their effort, insight and ability.

She said: “I want to bring that experience to other players here - maybe the girls that haven’t won anything before. I’ll always try to help players because I want to be part of a winning team and a team that’s winning trophies and not just be here to make up the numbers, so I’ll do everything I can to pass on my experience.

“We’ve got a good group of girls with experience and youth which is a good mix. Eddie’s come in and set the standard across the board, we’ve got to have discipline off the park first which is vital if you want to create a winning team on the park, and everyone has bought into that already so we have the calibre of players.

“Our aim is to win silverware this season and we have the ability to do that.”

The Celts travel to double cup holders Hibs at the weekend in a test that may suggest where Celtic stand in terms of pushing on according to Black.

“Hibs and City are still the benchmark in our league, there’s no hiding from that.

“It’s going to be a good gauge and test for us and we’re under no illusion that even though they’ve lost experienced players, they still have a very good squad and it will be a tough game, but it will give us a gauge of how far away we are,” she said.

Celtic play Hibs on Sunday, February 17 at Ainslie Park in Edinburgh in a 1pm kick-off.


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