Celtic Girls’ Academy is renowned for nurturing talent and many players have already graduated to the first-team and played in the Scottish Women’s Premier League. The current Academy can boast no fewer than 14 Scotland international players, six in the U19 squad, two with the U17s and six in the U15s.
Development of talent, as well as providing an education in citizenship and fair play, are the principal aims of the Girls’ Academy.
Nevertheless, with such an abundance of talent available, it follows that the Academy teams also enjoy success in their various competitions. As the 2014 summer season draws to a close, two of our most talented teams have Scottish Cup finals to look forward to this Sunday, November 9.
Celtic 13s play seven-a-side football and have reached their cup final by way of wins including against Glasgow City Blacks, Aberdeen, Celtic 12s, Glasgow Girls, and FC Kilmarnock Blues. The team plays stylish, attacking football and have brought much enjoyment to coaches and spectators throughout the season. They line up in the final against Edinburgh rivals, Hearts, who are always worthy opponents.
Tina Ferguson has coached the team this season and is currently conducting high-intensity coaching sessions in preparation for the big day. She said “Preparations for the final are well underway. The girls are focused on doing well and have been working very hard. We are all really looking forward to the final.”
Captain of this group is Kathleen McGovern. Kathleen’s busy schedule has also included turning out this season for Mill United Boys’ Club. She told this week’s Celtic View “It's an absolute honour to captain the team to the final of the Scottish Cup.
“We have worked so hard to get there and the team should all be very proud of themselves. With continued hard work and commitment we can bring the trophy back to Paradise.
“We're all are buzzing for the final and can't wait until the weekend to be part of this big event.”
Probably one of the best squads the Academy has seen are Celtic 15s, who look forward to their final against Glasgow City on Sunday. On the road to the finals, they have claimed the scalps of such as Letham Girls (Perth), Hibs, Rangers and Central Girls from Falkirk along the way.
Captain Brogan Molloy added “It is a great honour to captain Celtic every game, but more so on an occasion like this. The team has worked hard all season to get to the final and we are all ready to go out on to the park and give 100 per cent.”
Coach is Paul Brownlie who is also Head of the Girls’ Academy. Paul has overseen the development of most of the girls who have progressed to the first-team, but is as excited as anyone as he looks forward to Sunday.
He said “For everyone involved with Celtic15s, Sunday cannot come quickly enough. It has been a fantastic journey during the whole campaign.
“It has certainly not been easy facing the likes of Hibs, Rangers and Central to reach the final. However, the players have faced up to every challenge that came their way.
“Preparations behind the scenes are in full swing ahead of Sunday’s final. The squad has been working extremely hard both on the pitch and in training. Good luck to both Celtic teams playing in the national finals.”