Celtic star Jacynta trains with Matildas ahead of her International debut

Last week we told you that Jacynta had received an international call-up for Australia and the CELTIC FC Women Player of the year was set to make her full international debut in the end of June matches against Spain and Portugal.

Jacynta is pictured here training with The Matildas ahead of making her breakthrough into the Australian national side, having opted to play for the Aussies rather than her mother’s country of birth Argentina. She was also eligible to play for Italy so the Matildas have done very well to win the race to secure the Celtic Star as their player!

In this interview Jacynta spoke to Matilda’s.com.au about moving to Europe as a teenager th chase her footballing dream, signing for Celtic because of Fran Alonso and her ambitions to reach the very top of the women’s game which may end up with her moving to a bigger league, possibly in England.

Jacynta in action in the Scottish Cup Final win over Glasgow City

“I was shocked but also so excited, honoured and grateful to be invited to these upcoming games against Spain and Portugal.

“I’ve been working really hard and I’ve had quite a good season, so when I got the call, I felt like I was being rewarded for that,” the Celtic Women’s Player of the Year told Matildas.com.au after receiving the great news that her stand-out season in Fran Alonso’s double cup winning side has earned her a place in the Matilda’s squad to play Spain and Portugal later this month.


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Jacynta, who also won the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year was voted by the Celtic supporters as the club’s own Women’s Player of the Year and the Australian play-maker rounded off a brilliant season with a majestic performance in the Scottish Cup Final win over Glasgow City at Tynecastle on 29 May.

All that undoubtedly attracted the attention of Matildas’ Head Coach Tony Gustavsson who would have been well aware that Argentina were also interested in capping the Celtic Star as her mother comes from the South American country.

Jacynta explained though that she’s been happy to stay focused on working hard on a day by day and game by game basis and then the recognition, achievements and international recognition can take care if itself.

Jacynta Galabadaarachchi (#8) of Celtic Women FC celebrates with Clarissa Larisey (#10) of Celtic Women FC during the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup match between Celtic Women and Hibernian at Forthbank Stadium, Stirling, Scotland on 14/11/2021.

“I just take it day-by-day. My coach always says, ‘If you work as hard, you’ll get rewarded,’ so in every training session, in every game, I fight, I work as hard as possible. I wasn’t really thinking about any individual awards, I just wanted to do the best for the team.”

After spending three years in the A-League Women’s with Melbourne City and Perth Glory, a teenage Jacynta signed for West Ham United in 2019, before moving to Napoli. Fran Alonso though was aware of her talents and brought her to Celtic where she has been outstanding, winning herself a key role in the side similar to the job fellow Aussie Tom Rogic did so well for the Celtic first team for almost a decade.

For Jacynta her ambition from an early age was to play her football in Europe and for now at least she’s now living the dream at Celtic. “From the time I was nine years old, I would tell my parents that I wanted to play in Europe, so I jumped at the opportunity when it came up.

“It was really tough leaving home and leaving my family, because we’re really, really close. I was home-schooled since I was little, so I spent all my time with my family.

“It was a hard transition but after two and a half, three years, I’m finally comfortable and I feel like I’ve grown up a lot.”

And while she’s happy to go home for holidays and now for international duty the Celtic playmaker sees her future playing career being in Europe with perhaps a hint that she has unfinished business in England.

“I love the style of football they play, it’s so aggressive, so technical, so fast-paced and the level of professionalism in England is crazy, especially in the last few years.

“Women footballers are treated amazingly, and it’s getting closer and closer to how the men are treated. The leagues are really, really far ahead in that sense.”

Jacynta in action in the Scottish Cup Final win over Glasgow City

Jacynta, like all her teammates at Celtic, recognises the outstanding job that Fran Alonso has done at the club over the past few seasons, as Celtic somewhat belatedly it has to be said, started to pay attention to the developing women’s game which is here to stay.

“I pretty much went to Celtic because of the coach, Fran. He’s a Spanish coach and the style of play that he implements really suits me. He lets me express the player that I am and be quite free on the pitch.”

“It’s helped me to grow as a player in terms of finally being able to be myself, and he’s also helped me with the other side of my game, like the hard work, that aggression, things that aren’t just technical. Now I feel like I’m more of a complete player.”

On what qualities she can bring to the Matildas, Jacynta stated: “I think I’m quite creative and technical. I like dribbling. I like playing a lot of through balls and creating a lot in the final third, seeing things that other players maybe don’t see, like finding a little pocket of space, things like that are what I hope I can bring to the team.

Jacynta in action in the Scottish Cup Final win over Glasgow City

“I just want to give it the best that I can and show everyone what I can do and the type of player that I am. I just want to be myself and we’ll see how it goes!”

Here are the highlights of the Scottish Cup Final which Celtic won 3-2 (AET) despite playing 80 minutes with ten players due to an ‘Honest Mistake’ which you now get in women’s football too. That wasn’t the first one Celtic had to contend with last season!


Please tell us your t-shirt size when ordering from the link below…posted immediately well in time for Father’s Day this Sunday!

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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