“Sunday was amazing,” Kelly Clark on joining Celtic’s 200 Club

Kelly Clark has been talking to Celtic FC Women reporter Colette Carr this week, as the Celtic captain looks back on her brilliant landmark achievement reached in last weekend’s 6-0 win over Partick Thistle in the SWPL1, of reaching 200 appearances for the club.

Colette recalls Kelly reaching the 150 mark two and a half years earlier and a conversation that they had in March 2019 ahead of the next 50 matches which the Celtic captain regards as the best of the lot. Even then Clark had an eye on reaching the 200 mark for the Hoops and she can now look ahead to getting to 250, starting tomorrow with the short trip to North Lanarkshire to play Hamilton.

AIRDRIE, SCOTLAND – JUNE 06: Celtic manager Fran Alonson (L) and manage Kelly Clark celebrate at full time 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)

“I can vaguely remember doing that interview, and last year feels like a lost year, but we’ve come on leaps and bounds since then,” the Celtic captain told Carr, as reported on Celtic FC Women’s official website.

“I can’t remember if we spoke about ambitions then, but if you’d said to me then, “do you think by the time you’ve hit 200, you’ll have played Champions League football?” I’d have said, “let’s take one step at a time”, but here we are and we’ve done it. It’s been an amazing 50 games since with unbelievable and unforgettable occasions.”

The pandemic of course resulted in a delay for the 27 year old in reaching the landmark, with so many games lost, amid league cancellations, cups not contested and a complete lockdown of the game for a long period of time. Was this frustration? “I guess,” Kelly admitted. “For a woman to hit 200 is a huge milestone and like you mentioned there’s so fewer games in a season for us, so hitting 200 is amazing, but I’d probably be edging on 250 if we hadn’t had that season cancelled.

AIRDRIE, SCOTLAND – JUNE 06: Kelly Clark (R) celebrates her goal to make it 7-0 Celtic 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)

“I don’t know if it annoys me as such, but put like that it’s maybe a bit frustrating. The whole COVID delaying the league situation was frustrating, but we got Champions League football at the end of it.

“Would we have gotten the same if there wasn’t COVID and all those breaks? I don’t know, so maybe that was meant to be and we reacted well to the breaks both times. Even though we came back and our first result was a defeat we went on a big unbeaten run. In terms of hitting landmarks on a personal note it’s maybe a little frustrating, but the way the team played last year even though difficult times made me immensely proud, and we got Champions League, so I’ll take a COVID break for that.”

Rangers Women v Celtic Women 15/11/2020. Jodie Bartle and Kelly Clark celebrate with Chloe Logan after the final whistle Photo: Malcolm Mackenzie

Looking back to 2019 the Celtic captains knows that the women’s team have come a very long way indeed in developing a professional set-up from those more amateurish days. “We weren’t even professional then, so it’s been an unbelievable 50 games, and probably the most important of the 200 to be honest.

“We went professional and I’ve continued to captain the squad but I’ve obviously stayed with my day job too. The squad have done so well under Fran and got huge results against (the)Rangers last season to get ourselves in a really good place to qualify after being written off. Then you’ve got the Champions League, so they’re up there with the best two games of the whole 200. Even though the results weren’t what we wanted, we did ourselves proud.”

Kelly Clark (#15) of Celtic Women FC celebrates her 200th appearance with her team following the Scottish Womens Premier League 1 match between Celtic Women and Partick Thistle Women at Penny Cars Stadium, Airdrie, Scotland on 3 October 2021.

Ahead of kick-off in front of her nearest and dearest on Sunday, she was able to enjoy a moment of celebration with a presentation with her teammates, coaches and even her dad on the pitch.

“Sunday was amazing – it was everything I could’ve asked for it to be. The fact my family and my boss were there to all see me play that 200th game was really nice – they all traveled down to watch and absolutely loved it. They don’t see me play very often given they live so far away, so it was a really nice day all in and we got the result to top it off.

“Having the presentation with my dad was a really nice touch,” Kelly said.

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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

1 Comment

  1. Fantastic achievement Kelly well done. You can see when you play and when you are on Celtic tv what being a part of our club means to you. Hh