Celtic Football Club is delighted to announce that it has appointed Fran Alonso as the new Head Coach of its women’s team.
Report / Image: Celtic FC
Fran has huge top-level football experience, having been Ronald Koeman’s first team assistant at Everton in the English Premier League and Mauricio Pochettino’s technical coach at Southampton.
Fran joins from Lewes FC Women in England, where he has been Head Coach for the past year, leading the club in the FA Women’s Championship in England.
Today’s announcement follows the hugely exciting news that Celtic’s women’s team has a new professional status with significant investment made by the club
Fran Alonso said: “When Celtic want you, you can’t say no. It is one of the world’s truly great football clubs and one I know which has made a huge commitment to developing its women’s team.
“Celtic is about passion, heart and soul, about the love of great attacking football and about a great family spirit and that is what attracted me to this role.
“I know the team are very together, focused on the future and focused on improving and committed to working hard to achieve our objectives. I also know that Celtic has real ambition and purpose around its women’s team and I wanted to be a major part of that.”
Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell said: “We are really pleased to have been able to secure Fran as our new Head Coach and everyone at Celtic is delighted to welcome him to the club. We really look forward to working with him.
“We know he has real pedigree as a coach and we are sure he will make a very positive contribution to the team, within our new exciting structure.”
Celtic were delighted to announce recently that our women’s first team has moved to professional status for the first time. Considerable work has been undertaken by Celtic to reach this stage and significant investment is being committed to this new professional model.
A number of existing players have already been moved on to professional contracts and the Celtic squad for 2020 will be bolstered by some further signings, modern apprentices and continuing amateur players, which will all be announced over the coming weeks.
The wider club staff have also committed to supporting the women’s team, with every effort made to ensure they have the highest quality of support for the season ahead.
A number of new sponsors, including Indigo Unified Communications, Eleven Sports Media, Utilita and BeCordial Hotel Group have already come on board to support Celtic’s vision for the future, with further partnerships being finalised to ensure the off-field and academic parts of the programme match the on-field standards.
With the season due to commence with a League Cup match on February 9, the first team will be heading to Spain in mid-January for a fantastic warm-weather training camp. The team will be looking to hit the ground running and build on the performances from season 2019 which saw a marked improved in terms of league performance.
Celtic has an opportunity to be at the forefront of improving the women’s game in Scotland, developing greater opportunities for female players and creating a clear career path.
Always striving to be the best at anything it does, the club relishes this opportunity and looks forward to its wider fanbase providing its world-renowned support to all levels of the women’s set-up.
Gordon Kaye, Celtic’s Head of Business Development said: “We are delighted to be leading the way in this area in Scotland and we are sure our move to professional status is one which will be hugely beneficial for the club and our players.
“Our new professional arrangement aims to provide the same opportunities for women wishing to play the game at all levels as we currently do for men – as a club famously open to all, this is hugely important to us.
“Building on recent progress, our objective will always be to aim higher and achieve more success and we believe our new professional status will allow us to do this. While we realise reaching the top spot in Scotland may not happen overnight, we always want to be the best in all we do and this is absolutely something we aspire to.
“It is a very exciting time for women’s football and we are delighted to be driving forward with these exciting new plans.”