Celtic’s very first women’s team was established in June 2007 with an entry to the Scottish Women’s Premier League.
Underpinning the First Team is a Girls’ Academy Development Squad which plays in the Scottish Women’s Football League Division One, and a Girls’ Academy with teams at ages 17, 15, 13, 12 and 11 which compete in Scottish Women’s Football regional girls’ leagues.
Women’s and girls’ football at Celtic is part of the Celtic Foundation.
Head of the Celtic Foundation, Robert Docherty explains, “Celtic should be applauded for introducing women’s and girls’ football to the Club. The Girls’ Academy provides an exciting and challenging coaching and games programme which attracts, retains and motivates all the players involved.”
Patron of the Women’s and Girls’ Programme at Celtic is actress Elaine C Smith, who said at the inauguration, “I am absolutely delighted to be asked to be Patron of Celtic Women’s and Girls’ Programme. It is a much needed boost to the women’s game. With the number of women watching football matches at Celtic Park increasing, it’s fantastic that they too now have the opportunity to participate and play for their team.”
Chief Executive, Peter Lawwell added, “We are delighted to launch Celtic women’s teams and enter a Celtic team in the Scottish Women’s Premier League. This is a natural expansion to our present community coaching and Youth Academy programmes. I would like to thank Robert Docherty and Elaine C Smith for their fantastic input to an excellent project for Celtic.”
In three out four seasons in the SWPL the First Team has had top three finishes. In addition there has been a Scottish Cup final appearance and they are a Premier League Cup.
The Development Squad which is this season playing in the Scottish Women’s Football League Division One as Celtic Reserves has an average age of sixteen. This will give the very best players from the Girls’ Academy an opportunity to gain experience at senior level. In previous seasons Celtic Reserves have won three championships out of four. However, they could not be promoted as each club may have only one team in the Premier League. They have also won the Football League Cup.
Whereas the primary function of the Girls’ Academy is the development of young players, success in competition is good for morale and aids the recruitment and retention of players.
In summer season 2011, the Celtic Girls’ Academy recorded the following successes.
Celtic 17s: League Champions, Scottish Cup winners
Celtic 15s: League Champions, Scottish Cup winners, League Cup winners
Celtic 13s: League Champions, League Cup winners