Celtic appoint Elena Sadiku as Celtic FC Women manager

Celtic today officially appointed Elena Sadiku as our new Celtic FC Women manager. She replaces Fran Alonso, who left the Hoops to take up the head coach position at Houston Dash.

Elena’s last role in management was as the head coach of Everton’s academy in the Women’s Super League. She has experience at all levels of professional football in a range of different countries though, managing teams such as FC Rosengard and Fortuna Hjorring.

She also has experience on the pitch, playing for FC Rosengard, Kristianstad DFF, Eskilstuna United, Hammarby IF, and even representing her native Sweden several times. She retired from professional football at the young age of 23 due to a recurring injury, but that hasn’t stopped her dedication to growing women’s football.

KONZ, GERMANY – OCTOBER 26: Lina Magull (R) of Germany, Elena Sadiku (L) and Elin Rubensson (C) of Sweden battle for the ball during the U19 Women’s International friendly match between Germany and Sweden on October 26, 2011 in Konz, Germany. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Speaking to Celtic TV about joining the Hoops, Elena said: “This is such a great day for me and my family, to join a club of Celtic’s standing and stature at such an exciting time for our women’s team. It is a real honour to be given this wonderful opportunity and I can’t wait to get started, particularly with so many important games coming up.

“The league in Scotland has really developed in the last few years and I’ve seen that the team at Celtic have had great success. My role now is to continue this, working for and with the players to achieve greater success in terms of the league and European competitions in particular.

IMAGO / Bildbyran – Zecira Musovic, goalkeeper of the Swedish womens national team, Elena Sadiku and Hanna Bennison, players of the Swedish womens national team during the Damallsvenskan football match between FC Rosengard and IK Uppsala on June 19, 2023 in Malmö, Sweden. Photo MATHILDA AHLBERG

“I also relish the chance to positively develop and grow the wider structure and environment across all our teams and academy. I will bring passion, energy, and dedication to this role and I can’t wait to get started.”

What a truly fantastic appointment this is. Our academy was always going to be a big part of growing our team, especially with the Barrowfield redevelopment, and what better person to take us forward in that regard than Elena.

Eskilstuna, Sweden, October 23rd 2022: Elena Sadiku Eskilstuna ahead of the game in the Swedish League OBOS Damallsvenskan on October 23rd 2022 between Eskilstuna United DFF and Umea IK FF at Tunavallen in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Photo Peter Sonander/SPP

Michael Nicholson, Celtic’s Chief Executive, also spoke to Celtic TV about the new Celtic FC managerial appointment. He said: “Everyone at the Club is delighted to welcome Elena to Celtic. Following an extensive process, Elena was identified as an outstanding appointment and someone who has the experience and profile to both deliver on the field for Celtic and also to oversee our wider development as we strive to take our women’s team forward.

“Elena has worked across Europe and beyond in a variety of roles and in different environments and we are sure Celtic will benefit from these experiences. This will be particularly helpful as we integrate the girls’ teams into the wider Celtic Academy and prepare for the transition into our new training complex later this year.

“We look forward to working together to build on what has been achieved in recent years.”

Eskilstuna Uniteds coach Elena Sadiku during the soccer match in the Damallsvenskan between Eskilstuna United and Djurgarden on August 28, 2022 in Eskilstuna,  Photo EMMA WALLSKOG

Elena Sadiku will want to make her mark on the way Celtic plays and also on the squad and she will be well aware that the current squad is lacking in numbers and is being supported by numerous academy players that perhaps are not yet at the level to be reliable week in week out performers.  

She should be well aware of the budget gap with the current league leaders theRangers spending more than twice as much as Celtic. This incidentally is pennies compared to the mens game. Celtic narrowly missed out on the SWPL1 title last season but retained the Scottish Cup.

Eskilstunas coach Elena Sadiku during the football match in the Damallsvenskan between Häcken and Eskilstuna United on June 8, 2022 in Gothenburg, Photo MICHAEL ERICHSEN

This time we are in with a shout in all three competitions but to be realistic, we’re going to need several signings in January and that is exactly what Fran Alonso was looking at before he got the offer from the States. Hopefully the club back the new boss in this window and her per get off to a brilliant start as the Celtic FC Women manager.

Elena’s first game in charge of Celtic will be against Rangers in the Sky Sports League Cup next Friday, so get down to the Excelsior and back the new boss! Tickets are available to buy online, and the match will be broadcast on BBC Alba.

Jessica Elliott

About Author

I'm a student journalist and Celtic supporter. I'm delighted to have been recently appointed women's football writer for The Celtic Star, where the coverage of the Celtic FC Women's team has been incredible and unrivalled over the past three seasons.

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