Amer­i­can dream for Celtic

Sunday Herald - - 19.03.17 SPORT -

IF Celtic’s two new Amer­i­can sign­ings play as well as they talk, they will add con­sid­er­able value to the side which fin­ished third in SWPL1 last sea­son.

Hav­ing met both at Celtic Park on Fri­day morn­ing they were gen­uinely ex­cited to be at the club and des­per­ate to get game time against Glas­gow City this af­ter­noon. Nei­ther strikes as be­ing the type who will shirk from a chal­lenge – even when they dis­cover East Kil­bride’s K-Park lacks the grandeur of Celtic’s iconic sta­dium.

Cen­tral de­fender Ja­clyn Pou­cel, from Penn­syl­va­nia, made her mark as a leader and or­gan­iser at the pair’s first train­ing session on Thurs­day.

Video footage from Amer­ica con­firms her to be a phys­i­cally strong player with good aware­ness who likes to ini­ti­ate at­tacks.

Hold­ing mid­fielder Darcy McFarlane, who at 22 is a year younger and from Cal­i­for­nia, is not so tall but says: “I’m very good in the air and pretty fear­less go­ing in for head­ers and tack­les. I’ll win the ball and keep the ball for the team – and make things hap­pen that way.”

It re­mains to be seen if ei­ther or both will start to­day. Celtic man­ager David Ha­ley says they are fit enough, but be­cause of the un­fa­mil­iar­ity fac­tor may de­cide to start at least one of them on the bench. THREE Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al­ists are likely to be in­volved in Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter fi­nal games this week. Lisa Evans’ Bay­ern Mu­nich have an en­tic­ing home tie against Paris Sain­tGer­main, while Jen Beat­tie and Jane Ross are at For­tuna Hjor­ring with Manch­ester City.

Not so lucky is an­other Scot­land squad player, Rachel Har­ri­son. For­tuna’s No 1 goal­keeper Maria Chris­tensen has re­turned from in­jury ear­lier than ex­pected and will play.

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