Fran Alonso’s Celtic exit is all but confirmed…
A report this afternoon on American soccer site equalizersoccer.com claims that Celtic FC Women manager Fran Alonso has agreed to become the new Head Coach at Houston Dash, thus bringing to an end an eventual and highly successful three and a half years at Celtic where he won the Scottish Cup twice, the League Cup once, finished runners up in the SWPL1 twice and qualified for the Champions League twice.
For context Celtic had not won the League Cup for a decade, had never won the Scottish Cup before and had never played Champions League football before Alonso’s remarkable transformation of the Celtic women’s team. The charismatic Spanish coach enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Celtic support and his team broke the attendance record for an SWPL1 match and also for the Scottish Cup two seasons in a row.
He achieved all of this with a shoe-string budget, considerably smaller than current Champions Glasgow City and the current league leaders and the biggest spenders in women’s football, theRangers Women.
Perhaps as a consequence of advance notice about Alonso’s pending departure the team were out of sorts on Sunday, dropping two points away to Hearts to fall three points behind theRangers.
Here’s Jessica Elliott’s report on this breaking news, which has not yet been confirmed by Celtic. We have asked Celtic for a comment and are awaiting a reply…
REPORT CLAIMS FRAN ALONSO HAS AGREED TERMS WITH HOUSTON DASH AND WILL NOW LEAVE CELTIC
The Equalizer reports that Houston Dash has reached an agreement for Fran Alonso to become the new Head Coach of the NWSL side. The manager will depart Celtic FC Women after three and a half successful seasons that saw the club win three pieces of silverware.
He is a manager with an eye for talent, bringing players to Glasgow that have been season-defining. He brings a level of passion to the team that pulls everyone together, even when the going gets tough. Teams playing under Alonso tend to play an intense, exciting style of football – the exact brand that Houston Dash were looking for.
Houston Dash’s previous head coach left the club in September after a lacklustre season at the helm, so they could be looking at a complete rebuild under the Spaniard. Top class players like Jacynta and Clarissa Larisey, who were both hugely successful at Celtic before leaving for Portugal and Sweden respectively, may well follow Alonso to the NWSL side.
Like I have stated before – Fran Alonso is a manager who will always have a special place in the hearts of Celtic fans. He changed us for the better and made us real competitors in Scotland.
Whoever replaces him will have the difficult task of continuing our great run of form over the last few seasons, but I really hope we can find the right gaffer for the job. Whoever we choose, they’ll be coming into a team with so much promise. We just need to hope that they’ll be able to harness our potential.
Hopefully we can get a contract for a new manager wrapped up soon, as the January window is going to be crucial in defining our season. Deals need to wrap up quickly if we are to kick on, and the new manager needs to decide how he wants to build his squad. Although the first season can sometimes be seen as a write-off, with the position that we are currently in, we can’t afford to let the chances of our first league title slip through our fingers.
Hopefully Alonso will prove to be successful in America. I’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on our green-and-white-hearted Spaniard.
And who knows, maybe one day, Alonso could return to Scotland to finally capture the only top-flight domestic trophy that escaped him – the SWPL league title.
Full story @EqualizerSoccer
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— Theo L-H | @theolloydhughes.bsky.social (@theolloydhughes) December 21, 2023