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McLaughlin ready to give all for Celts with one last shot at the top

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Celtic have a new Invincible around Lennoxtown, with Kirsty McLaughlin joining for what could be the curtain call on her lengthy successful career.

Coming from Motherwell with teammate Emma Black, the two played under Eddie Wolecki Black in Lanarkshire before he joined the Hoops, in a season where he constructed the foundations for a promotion winning invincible run in the second tier of Scottish women’s football and paved the way to the Scottish Cup final.

McLaughlin, who by her own admission is in the twilight of her career, was ready to hang her boots up following Motherwell’s appearance in last season’s showpiece, but her former Well boss handed her an opportunity too big to turn down.

“I worked with Eddie at Motherwell and we had a very successful season,” she said at Lennoxtown following a gruelling preseason circuit session.

“He obviously came to Celtic in the summer and I continued at Motherwell. I wasn’t planning on playing this season but in the closed season, Eddie got in touch and sold the club to me,” she explained.

With Wolecki Black’s overhaul and title win building job at Motherwell fresh in her mind, paired with Celtic’s growing commitment to Women's football, the midfielder admitted the chance to build on last season at Celtic changed her outlook on her playing days.

“It’s got first class facilities, the kits brand new and there’s a lot going on at the club in a good, positive way. I don’t know how long I have left in me to play, but it was certainly an avenue I wanted to go down and I’ve enjoyed it so far.

“I’m 31 now, so opportunities could be few and far between and this was certainly an option I couldn’t turn down at this stage of my career, so I’ll give it one last shot and see if I can get to the top of my game again and see where we go from there.”

The combative midfielder who comes equipped with a dangerous range of passing, also previously worked with the manager at Glasgow City and believes his influence, experience and knowledge will serve the club well.

“I worked with Eddie for a very short spell at City, but just given his reputation, what he’s achieved and his spell in the men’s game, I’m definitely looking forward to what he can bring this season.

“At Motherwell, we went on a great run and that’s down to probably his specific tactics, his knowledge of how to play the game and he’s very specific in how he plays the game and hopefully I can fit in here like I did at Motherwell and have more success,” McLaughlin added.

The 31-year-old joined the Celts in the midst of a rigorous preseason schedule in preparation for the season opener against Forfar Farmington in February, but for now she is just looking forward to getting away with the squad as they travel to Germany for a tournament and game against Champions League regulars Turbine Potsdam.

“Preseason has been great so far, a lot of hard work and sometimes my legs are a bit tired due to my age but it has been very thorough and very specifically geared towards how we are going to play next season and for what we want to achieve, and we’re gearing up towards Berlin.

“I can’t wait to get away, it’ll be good to get all the girls away in a professional environment and bond together as a team. Hopefully we could carry that onto the pitch and set us in good stead for the season ahead.

“For me coming in, I know some of the girls because of the way women’s football is I’ve gotten to know them over the years as opponents, but it’ll be good to get to know them in that environment and gain that trust we need for next season.”

Celtic travel to Germany on Wednesday 23 January and play Forfar Farmington at home in their season opener on Sunday 10 February.


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