CELTIC is delighted to announce that Tina Stewart has been appointed as Head of the Girls’ Academy.
When Fran Alonso became manager of Celtic Women’s first team, he invited Head of Girls’ Academy, David Haley, to become one of his full-time first-team coaches.
Tina Stewart is no stranger to the Academy, having (as Tina Ferguson) been one of the coaching staff when the Women’s and Girls’ programme was inaugurated in 2007.
She is also a former Celtic player and she played in the first-ever women’s Glasgow derby match against Rangers in 2008.
Starting with the very first Under-11 team, Tina went on to coach at every age group including the reserve team, winning leagues and cups almost every season, including the British U-15s’ championship in 2009, assisting Paul Brownlie.
Tina told the official Celtic Website: “In April of 2015 I took a break as I was due to get married in early 2016.
“It was my initial intention to return in 2017 but I got a job with the Scottish FA as Girls’ & Women’s Club Development Officer and later in 2017 I was appointed the Scottish international U-15 head coach.
“I have since attained my A licence, attended various coach development opportunities including a coach conference at the last Women’s World Cup and I became a tutor on Level 1 Scottish FA Coach Education courses.
“I have always sought develop my knowledge on various aspects of the game from grassroots to supporting elite youth players’ development, mentoring coaches and delivering coach education and development courses.”
Speaking fondly of her years at Celtic, she saidf: “I am privileged to have coached many talented young players at Celtic.
“Fiona Brown, Chloe Arthur, Abi Harrison and Jamie-Lee Napier are some of those who now play professionally.
“If I reflect on my playing time at Celtic I played with very talented younger players in Christie Murray and Jennifer Beattie.”
Explaining her commitment to girls’ football Tina said: “I was the first girl to play for my primary school team, though that wasn't without its challenges. and the first girl to play for local Parkhead team, Leeds United Boys’ Club.
“I guess a lot of my passion and drive to coach and work in girls’ and women's football comes from the barriers that I faced just because I was girl who loved football and wanted to play the game.
“I don’t want my daughter or any young girl who wants to play football to have to face the barriers that I had to overcome just because of gender.”
Looking forward to her new role, Stewart explained: “It’s vitally important to educate players on what it takes unlock their potential.
“Coaches and other professionals can support the process but ultimately players have to commit to it.
“The journey will have its ups and downs but players need to be committed to learning, having a desire to train and work hard and apply the right lifestyle daily.
“I love the phrase ‘hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard’.
“As coaches and staff it is hugely important we create a positive but competitive learning environment for players to enjoy and thrive in.
“The timing of a player’s development and the opportunities arising will vary, but the same things apply for each player - committing to training, resting, lifestyle management, etc.
“People talk about luck but for me luck is when preparation meets opportunity, so you need to continually work hard and improve because you never know when an opportunity may arise.
“I can’t wait to get started.”
Image: Celtic FC
* HUGE Congratulations Tina from everyone at Jax Mc Media*