A Celtic star is amongst the SWPL players set to feature at the Women’s World Cup


CELTIC’S women’s team are set to have a player feature at the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time. The team was only founded in 2007 and has not dominated the Scottish League like their male counterparts. They do not possess an array of global stars like the reigning league champions of the men’s game.

Claire O’Riordan

Celtic’s first-ever World Cup star will be Irish international Claire O’Riordan. She is an extremely rare profile player in regard to her versatility. O’Riordan can be deployed as a defender or forward at club level, although she has primarily occupied a defensive position.

Her ability to cover multiple different roles as well as her experience across various different European leagues could be vital in the competition for Ireland.

It is the first time her nation will participate in a World Cup and they will be keen to make an impact in their tournament debut. In Women’s World Cup 2023 odds, their most likely stage of elimination is the group stages at odds of 1/7. However, Ireland upset the odds in the qualification campaign for the competition and will be determined to continue that trend.

O’Riordan netted her first international goal in a friendly against Zambia in June which sets her up nicely to travel to Australia and New Zealand on the back of a fine portion of momentum.

Linda Motlhalo (Glasgow City)

As Celtic are not a dominant force when it comes to the women’s game, others within the Scottish League have top international stars within their ranks.

Reigning champions Glasgow City also have a player jetting off to the World Cup this summer. Celtic could certainly take inspiration from their squad recruitment – signing stars from all around the world has been key to their progression.

Linda Molthalo is one of those global stars that will represent South Africa in Oceania this July. The 25-year-old is a pacey direct winger that is a major threat for even the highest-level defences. Molthalo has an impressive rate of scoring at the international level, with 16 goals in 52 caps prior to the World Cup beginning.

Like Ireland, South Africa is another nation not expected to make waves at the tournament down under. However, they could also benefit from the lack of pressure and expectation placed upon them. Most of their squad play their club football in their home nation, and Molthalo is one of few exceptions that have been exposed to European football.

Kayla McCoy and Victoria Esson (Rangers)

Celtic’s biggest rivals by far, Rangers have two players heading to the World Cup. This more than anything else should motivate the club to improve the women’s team by investing in stars from all over the globe in the coming years.

Forward Kayla McCoy will represent Jamaica in Oceania this year, and Victoria Esson will start from the bench in her home tournament for New Zealand.

Ultimately, Celtic’s star competing at the World Cup is the most experienced player from the Women’s Scottish Premier League that will participate. But the club must invest in the wider footballing world if they are to improve the number of international superstars in their squad come the next tournament in four years’ time.


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