Celtic women's goalkeeper Rachael Johnstone: New signings can win us league
Lewis football ace Rachael Johnstone reckons a productive January transfer window can be the perfect catalyst for her Celtic women’s side to storm to SWPL1 title glory this season.
Manager Fran Alonso has added Napoli striker Jacynta Galabadaarchchi, fellow forward Mariah Lee from OL Reign, wide player Izzy Atkinson from Shelbourne and utility player Anna Filbey on loan from Spurs.
And, with an announcement on whether or not SWPL1 can resume or not due on March 1 after a two-month sabbatical due to coronavirus, Hoops goalie Rachael is confident that any resumption of play can see third placed Celtic bridge the current two-point gap to leaders Rangers and second placed Glasgow City after seven games.
"We have had a good January transfer window so our team is definitely boosted since lockdown happened,” Rachael, 16, told the Stornoway Gazette.
"It’s a very good standard of player that’s come in. Hopefully we can see them soon when training comes back.
"I think throughout the team has been strengthened in quite a lot of positions.
"A hundred per cent, we had a positive start before the virus kicked in.
"We’re not far off the top but there’s still lots of work to do.
"I think we have a good chance of winning the league title this year.
"Hopefully we can really challenge for the top spot now.
“I am very keen to get playing again. Hopefully we find out we’re getting back on March 1.”
Not having played since December, Rachael said it was tough for her all her team-mates coping without the beautiful game.
"I haven’t got school so football is my main focus right now,” she added.
"I just need to make sure I’m ticking over until football does begin again.
"I have been going for individual training sessions, going for runs, doing cycling and then Celtic have given us training programmes to do.”
Rachael has been the sub keeper for all but one of Celtic’s league fixtures so far in the 2020-21 season.
She started the 5-0 win at Motherwell Ladies on December 13 and is hopeful that she can force her way into the starting lineup on a more regular basis whenever the campaign gets going again.