Fran Alonso was schooled in Celtic by a host of its most profitable exports. The new head coach of the Parkhead women’s team learned all about his new environment by listening to Virgil van Dijk, Fraser Forster and Victor Wanyama remind Steve Davis about the dominant force in Scotland when they shared a Southampton dressing room.

Alonso’s arrival at Celtic yesterday afternoon as the Parkhead side move towards the establishment of a professional and full-time women’s side suggests a desire to bring forth the rich rewards of a domestic dynasty as the Spaniard looks to replicate the success of the club’s male counterparts.

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And in that regard it is the imports that could well bolster the quality that is within Celtic’s ranks while also elevating the standard of the league as a whole. With a significant percentage of Shelley Kerr’s national team made up of players who have had to move to England or Europe for full-time football, Celtic’s progression towards that level ought to raise the bar considerably.

“After I was announced as manager, I got messages from some players who want to come to Scotland and play,” said the 42-year-old as he was unveiled yesterday afternoon at Celtic Park. “It is people I would never have believed would be willing to come to Scotland, so it surprised me. It says a lot about the club and how much people want to play for a club like this. Everyone knows Celtic and they want to be part of a famous club.”

Alonso’s task will be to break the monopoly that Glasgow City have had on the domestic scene. The women’s Champions League quarter-finalists have been unchallenged as they have marched towards 13 successive league titles. And while Celtic’s move towards professional football suggests a clear intent on taking control, Alonso has warned that it will not happen overnight.

“I know you can’t be here and not be successful,” he said. “The club know we need time and we will fight to win every game, but we have to be realistic. It is a big change at the club and change takes time.

“I have big ambitions, but we will need to see if we can challenge for the title. Our main aim right now is to change the style, get the team to be familiar with it and make it their own. Adjusting from part-time to full-time is hard. Someone who is used to working then coming to training, they will be tired and you can’t push them as injuries will happen.

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“They are now full time and they have to learn to recover properly as we will push them again the next day in training. Some of them won’t be used to full time training, so they will need time. It is a transition period for us but it is an exciting time for the club. We want to be as successful as the men’s team but it could take time.”

With vast experience in the English Premier League – Alonso was assistant to Ronald Koeman at Everton and was a technical coach at Southampton under Mauricio Pochettino – his arrival at the Parkhead side is a clear statement of intent. And Alonso has insisted that he sees no line between coaching either male or female players, despite the imbalance that comes with the profile of both.

“At Southampton I basically had two full-time jobs,” he said. “I would work with the men all day, leaving the training ground just before 8pm and then I would go and coach the women’s team. It was the same at Everton where I was a volunteer for the ladies’ team. I am passionate about the women’s game – I always have been. Coaching isn’t about men or women, it is about changing lives. It is about making people happy and what an opportunity I have now to help do that at this huge club.”

There will be a familiar face, too, for Alonso as he gets his feet under the table at Celtic. “I am looking forward to seeing big Fraser [Forster] again,” he said. “Victor Wanyama was also one of the players I was closest to and he loved Celtic.

“We used to watch Celtic games together and I started to support the club as well. He was the first former player to contact me when I got the job to say congratulations.”