Players were in tears as Sarah Teegarden scored on her comeback from injury, revealed Celtic head coach Fran Alonso.
The January 2020 signing suffered a devastating ACL injury in a 5-1 Scottish Women’s Cup win at Spartans before lockdown last year.
She made her long awaited return in a friendly with Forfar Farmington last week, and within two minutes scored to spark emotional scenes from her teammates.
“It's like a fifth signing,” said Alonso, whose side restart their SWPL campaign on Sunday at home to Glasgow City.
“We are delighted to have her, she is a very clever player. She came from the bench and two minutes later she scored. It was a dream come true. I told the girls it was like a movie with a dream ending. Everyone was delighted for her.
“When Sarah Teegarden scored, 70% of the players were in tears. We are like a family. She's definitely going to help the team massively.”
Celtic’s only defeat under Fran Alonso was on the opening day of the season when they went down 2-0 to champions City.
That, and a draw at Forfar earlier in the seasons, means Celtic trail leaders Rangers and City by two points, and defeat on Sunday would extend that gap to five.
That puts pressure on Celtic, but Alonso is just happy to have his side back playing football after revealing due to lockdown and quarantine rules he had to spend Christmas day alone.
“We are going to play in nine weeks 14 games,” said the Spaniard. “It's a long season in terms of games but a short period of time. I think because of the number of games, whatever happens on Sunday it could have a little impact at the end, but I just think about Sunday.
“Obviously we don't want to lose at Celtic. I've been told by the fans we don't celebrate draws so I know what they expect.”
It is a new-look Celtic squad from the first part of the season. Irish defender Izzy Atkinson, Welsh midfielder Anna Filbey, Australian forward Jacynta Galabadaarchchi and American forward Mariah Lee are all in line to make their competitive debuts on Sunday.
However, they have lost Summer Green, and Spanish pair Brenda Lopez Castellano and Anita Marcos.
Alonso said: “They are a big loss, but they weren't happy and if players are not happy they will not perform at their best. But I think with the players who have come in we are stronger than we were before. I'm very positive about the transfer window.
“We miss them and they are big losses, but it gives the opportunity to new girls and they are great girls and good players.”
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