Celtic have completed the signing of long-term target Kelsey Hodges. The 25-year-old defender from Dallas, Texas will add experience and strength to the squad for their forthcoming summer season which kicks off next month.
Kelsey has been playing since she was five-years-old, and began playing organised matches with Sting Select Soccer Club when she was 10.
An all-rounder, who has also enjoyed playing basketball and softball in the United States, she moved on to be part of the Olympic Development Programme from ages 12 to 15, during which time she was selected to play in her state team.
During her time at the University of North Texas studying for a degree in Business Marketing, she played for the university in Division One of the Collegiate Soccer League.
After graduation, she played semi-professionally for Seattle Sounders Women before moving to Sweden to Ravasens IK, followed by a stint in Australia with Alamein FC in Victoria.
She told the official Celtic website: “I had a spell training with Celtic in June 2015, and really enjoyed it then. From that time, I decided I wanted to play here. I’m really attracted by the tradition and history of the club.
“I’m a defender with a definite preference for playing in the centre of defence.
“I only recently arrived in Scotland and since I landed I’ve been made most welcome by the players, particularly Cara McBrearty and Kelly Clark who have taken good care of me.”
Skipper Kelly Clark was at Celtic Park to welcome Kelsey when she signed, and said: “It’s great to have Kelsey in. She brings different experience to what is still a young defence. She's played in different leagues overseas so there will be a lot that we can all learn from her.
“She is a very aggressive player and that's something that as a back-line we might have lacked at times last year.”
Manager, David Haley added: “Kelsey has been a target for some time now, and I am happy to have been able to add her to the squad. She’s a good centre-back, giving good competition for places in that part of the team.
“I’m sure she’ll enjoy playing in Scotland and she’s joining a good squad of players, improving our chances of bettering last season’s performance.”
Reported by Celtic FC
Picture: Celtic FC