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Living the Dream


Kodie Hay

Kodie Hay is delighted to have joined the Hoops and she’s aiming to help the team push on this season

Exclusive Interview: Tony Connelly

For Kodie Hay, signing for Celtic has been more than a dream come true. It’s been the path which has led her to fall back in love with football.

The 21-year-old winger joined the Hoops at the start of the 2019 season, and she brings with her a wealth of experience, having come through Glasgow City’s academy system and played in the Champions League.

The move has seen Hay reunite with former manager Eddie Wolecki Black and as she told the Celtic View, Paradise is the only place to be.


How did you come to sign for Celtic?
I signed in December from Hamilton. I’ve worked with Eddie before at Glasgow City under-17s. He gave me my first chance at Premier League football and allowed me the opportunity to play in the Champions League. I got in touch with him at the end of last season and he invited me along to training. I just took it from there and after a few training sessions I signed. I’ve always had a good relationship with Eddie and I find having a manager who believes in you really helps you play with more confidence.


What’s the transition to playing for Celtic been like?
Coming into Celtic, I could tell that the standard of training was really good. There’s a lot of experienced players in the team and the training itself is really intense. I feel I’ve got a lot fitter which has been great out on the pitch in games. The older players in the team have been really helpful as well. Emma Black has been amazing and has given me a lot of help on the pitch. You could play the game with your eyes closed when she’s playing behind you because she’s so experienced and communicates so well. I’ve been playing in right wing where I’m most comfortable, but I’m happy enough to play on either wing. I’m predominately right-footed so I’m more comfortable out on the right.


You recently beat Rangers 4-1 in the league. What was that game like for you?
It’s taken me a while to secure a place in the team, but I’ve played 90 minutes during the last two fixtures so hopefully I can keep a place in the starting XI going forward. The game against Rangers was just a great experience. That was my first time playing in a Glasgow derby, so coming away with the win was just brilliant. The atmosphere was different to other games. It was more tense and there was a lot of pressure and hype around the game. With it being a double Glasgow derby that day, it only increased the weight of expectation because the men’s team had won earlier in the day and that put more pressure on us to go out and make sure we did our job.


And your sister plays football as well…
Brogan plays for Rangers but she’s out with an ankle injury at the moment so she wasn’t actually playing in the most recent game. During our whole youth career and, probably up to around a year-and-a-half ago, we both played for Glasgow City, so we’ve always been used to playing with one another. When we both left Glasgow City, she went to Rangers and I went to Hamilton Accies so we’ve come up against each other on a couple of occasions now. There’s 18 months between us. I’m 21 and Brogan’s 20. It gives us both a wee extra kick knowing that we’re going to be playing each other. She was at Rangers last season so she’s already experienced playing in the derbies, but having her sister against her now will no doubt be a wee bit of added pressure.


What was it like growing up playing football with your sister?
We’ve always played football together. Growing up, that’s all we really did. During the school holidays we’d always be out playing football for the whole day. I’m just grateful that we’ve managed to keep going to this level. We’ve always been really close with each other. Obviously on the pitch when we’re playing against each other there’s a rivalry but on a personal level we just always want each other to do the best we can. Brogan is also a winger and she plays out on the right too.


What’s it like for your family having the two of you playing on rival teams?
I would say, especially when it comes to Celtic against Rangers, there would naturally be support for Celtic to win because my whole family are massive Celtic fans. My Mum will try and remain neutral but I don’t know how she’ll be feeling deep down!


You face top-of-the-table Glasgow City in the league tonight (Wednesday). How confident is the team coming into that?
We’re not going to get a more difficult game than Glasgow City. They’re the top team and they’ve been really dominant. It’s always good to play against them and challenge ourselves. It’s beneficial that we played them so recently in the cup because we have a clear picture of what they’re most likely going to try and do. We’ve been able to work with Eddie on ways that we can try to exploit that so hopefully we can come away with a win this time.


On a personal note, what are you hoping to achieve during the remainder of the season?
On a personal level, I just want to keep playing and helping the team as much as I can. To do that I need to stay fit and remain positive. My goals fit with the team’s goal, though, and we’re still aiming to finish in the top two in the league. Hopefully we can do our best and win the cup.


What’s your work/life balance like away from football?
I’m currently a student at Stirling University. I’m studying sociology and I work a part-time job on top of that. It’s hard to fit everything in with work and making training every night. Finding that enjoyment again in football has been essential for me because it’s a huge commitment and you need to love it in order to put so much time into it. Since I’ve come into Celtic I’ve been absolutely loving football again and that’s what I was looking for.

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