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My 2020: Jodie Bartle ‘buzzing’ after first professional goal for Celtic

Jodie Bartle, 29, became Peterborough’s first full-time football player in January when she moved to Glasgow to join Celtic FC Women.
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Jodie celebrated her first goal for Celtic

Her debut season was cut short in March after the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, making just four appearances. However, a new campaign started in October, and within four games, Jodie scored the first professional goal of her career. 

She was cruelly denied five days earlier (November 15) in the Glasgow derby after she volleyed home. However, the referee had already blown his whistle for a penalty before the ball passed the line, ruling out Jodie’s goal.

She said: “I was gutted when my goal was ruled out at the Rangers game, especially when I hit the ball before the referee blew his whistle. Ask any pro footballer to talk about their first goal, they’ll smile and relive the moment for you.

"For me, it was a 92nd-minute winner of the world's biggest football rivalry, the Glasgow derby. A real Roy of the Rovers moment. 

“The ball dropped to me in slow motion, and I instinctively hit on the half volley with my left peg. I watched it hit the back of the net and exploded. I struggle to explain the elation, I was ecstatic. I went from 10 to 1 devastated, with no words.

"I had no idea what was going on, my head was spinning then as the teams positioned themselves for a penalty, it was at that point the penny dropped.”

However, Jodie's redemption was just five days later, heading home the opening goal in Celtic’s 6-2 victory over Hibernian FC in what she called as her ‘big moment’ in her career. 

“To go into the next game and score with our first set-piece, I was buzzing. I was so glad to get that first goal of the game and to be the first name on the scoresheet, it definitely made up for the disappointment of last week.”

“Scoring my first professional goal was a big moment in my career and one that I will remember for the rest of my life. I am sure when asked I’ll struggle to mention it without first recounting the disappointment from the previous match.”

Although football fans have been granted access back into football stadiums in England, Jodie and her teammates started under strict restrictions and behind-closed-doors, so she was particularly disappointed not to experience the atmosphere in her first Glasgow derby. 

She reflects on the unusual campaign: “I think the main thing that's the difference for us is not having the fans in the stadiums. Celtic fans are amazing, they are, and they create such a good atmosphere and I can't imagine how crazy they would have gone in the final few minutes of the Rangers game.”

“Another thing that I expect people wouldn't think about is changing rooms at the start of a game. We're only allowed six players to a room so instead of having us in one room, music blaring, having a laugh and preparing for a game, there's just six of us trying to create our atmosphere.”

Jodie began her career at Yaxley FC at the age of 17 before joining local non-league side Peterborough Northern Star. She captained the side until 2016 and led them to promotion to Women’s Premier League Midlands Division One for the first time in their history. 

Ahead of her move to Celtic FC in January, she spent three years at Loughborough Foxes and Coventry United – who played in the FA Women’s Championship for the first time in their history in the 2019/20 season.

Now as she nearly enters one-year as a full-time footballer at Celtic FC, Jodie is aiming for silverware and a potential place in the Champions League come the end of the season in June.  

She said: “I can see the improvements not just in me but reflecting back across the whole team. The teams are rightly in a competitive environment and my primary aim is working to get every minute on the pitch I can, play well and benefit our team. 

“Beyond that, it’s difficult to separate my personal aims from that of the team. We want silverware and champion league football next year, and we’re throwing every effort into that goal.”