She’s one of our own – Celebrating Chloe Craig, scorer of 100 goals for Celtic

Making her debut almost 15 years ago, defender Chloe Craig is a Celtic FC legend that will go down in our club’s history. As a defensive player, it’s not expected that you’ll score goals, but she passed the landmark of 100 goals in the Hoops after converting those two penalties against theRangers a few weeks ago.

Craig sat down with Celtic TV to speak about her journey and how far women’s football has come in Scotland.

The defender spoke about what it’s like to have been a part of that journey since the early days: “I think it gives you realisation of how much hard work you’ve put in and how much hard work the club has put in to get us to the place we are just now. I think it also shows the growth in the women’s path.”

She has a lot of fond memories from her time at the club, with some of them being from back in the day. “Playing with the Scotland [Women’s] A-squad at that time. Players like Suzanne Grant, Rhonda Jones, Julie Fleeting, Gemma Fay,” Craig said. “I think they were characters that played a massive part in my journey.”

As a Celtic fan, it was a great honour for the player to wear the armband on a few occasions: “It’s always a proud moment and an honour, but realistically, it doesn’t change the player who I am. Everyone’s equally as important as the next player on the pitch, regardless on if you’ve got the armband on or not. It is a great way to feel valued.”

Craig was one of the players that took the leap into full-time professional football. She said: “It was exciting. I feel as if when you were younger it was never something you thought could happen because back then, it wasn’t a thing to be a women’s professional player. To be able to say this is what you’re doing for a living is amazing. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve grown and how different the team is from then.

Celtic’s Kelly Clark (L) and Chloe Craig celebrate Champions League Qualification during a Scottish Women’s Premier League match between Motherwell and Celtic at Penny Cars Stadium on June 06, 2021, in Airdrie, Scotland (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

“Majority of the players in these clips [of Craig’s best goals]aren’t even here anymore. Thinking to now, it’s just totally different, but it’s something you appreciate.”

Craig never thought she’d be able to reach a goal tally this high: “Not as a defender. My focus is usually stopping others from doing this but it’s an achievement that’s obviously an honour, but just not something I ever thought I’d be able to reach.”

Recalling her winner against Rangers in 2022 and speaking on how it feels to score a winning goal, she said: “I remember it was basically ‘get the ball up, get everyone in that box’ and that’s what we did but I think at that point, everyone was celebrating with everyone, it didn’t matter who scored the goal, it was all about getting the three points. As I’ve said though, being a Celtic fan, playing against Rangers and scoring against them, there’s not really any better feeling.”

Craig has lifted silverware on multiple occasions with Celtic, so she knows how it feels: “If anything it just makes you hungry for more. It gives you that drive and the belief that we want to keep going and push for that.”

Speaking on the pressure of taking a penalty, she said: “I don’t really think you can think too much into it. It’s obviously a big part of the game but you can’t let it bring you down. It’s just like one after the other. I have the confidence to step up and other people have the confidence of me stepping up which makes me feel good, so it’s just about me putting that ball down, getting into the right head space and getting the goal. Me scoring it is scoring a goal but it’s the rest of the girls that play a part in getting the ball into the box, so me personally, I don’t really take credit in penalties individually.”

It was a proud moment for Craig as she crossed the 100 goal mark with two penalty conversions against Celtic’s biggest rivals: “I was told I was on 98 goals two or three weeks prior to the game and someone that week said to me ‘you’ll get two goals against Rangers’ and I went ‘there’s no chance, absolutely no chance’ but then it actually did happen, and I actually didn’t realise it until after the game. I went ‘oh god I’ve just got my 100th goal’ and it was a bit of a bittersweet moment because of the result but at the same time, I took that positive away from the game.”

In those 100 goals, she has some favourites: “There’s so many to choose from. I mean all goals are important, but from a recent game, I’d probably say the 2-1 game against Glasgow City. Probably because of how the game was and how the game went, and Cavanagh with the last-minute winner. It just brought that little bit of a special ring to it.”

Photo by Dominic Cocozza

Here’s to many more Chloe Craig goals for our Ghirls in green and white!

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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