THERE were no bold predictions from Eddie Wolecki Black when he took up temporary residence in Brendan Rodgers’ office at Celtic Park on Friday. Yet it is clear that as he continues his remarkable recovery from a life-threatening stroke 28 months ago, his thirst for success remains undiminished.

The news that he is to be the successor to David Haley as

Celtic manager was not an entire surprise, but the timing of it was. Motherwell, who gave Wolecki Black a route back into management at the end of last year, have unfinished business in SWPL2.

For that reason the former Glasgow City head coach – he won 20 trophies at the club and took them to the quarter-finals of the Champions League – will not officially join Celtic until August 28. However, he will almost certainly arrive earlier if Motherwell have won promotion to the top tier for the first time before then. They are already 13 points clear of closest challengers Kilmarnock and St Johnstone, who, by coincidence, they play in their next two games.

“Making the decision to leave Motherwell was difficult because they supported me so well,” Wolecki Black said. “But from the background I’ve got in Dundee, of a Celtic-supporting family, it was never going to be that difficult for me to come here either.”

The worry for Motherwell is that their best players will drift away as most only joined the club because of the manager. They include Wolecki Black’s wife, former Scotland defender Emma Black, who may be signed by Celtic at the end of the season, but his long-time assistant Donald Jennow is staying on at Motherwell to provide continuity.

From Celtic’s perspective, recruiting Wolecki Black is a clear signal they are not prepared to accept being third best any longer. They are already out of contention for the league this season, but with what is the biggest budget for women’s football in Scotland, should be pushing City and Hibernian all the way in 2019.

“My job will be to recruit the best players possible,” Wolecki Black said. “If we get it right here, we’ve got a great opportunity.”

One of the club’s best operators, Ruesha Littlejohn, has departed for London Bees, and when Wolecki Black joins next month he will inherit a squad which has plenty of physical presence but lacks in finesse.

SWPL1 football returns today, a week earlier than scheduled, with the rearranged game between Hamilton Accies and Hibernian. The Edinburgh club will go top of the league if they win their game in hand over Glasgow City by a margin of five goals or more.

The score was 5-1 when the teams last met at Easter Road in May, and Accies head coach Gary Doctor admits it could have been more. That game, and the six which followed, saw Hibs score a remarkable 43 goals while conceding just four.

Today's encounter, at Bothwellhaugh, will lay down a marker for how Hibs are going to perform in the second half of the season. Lizzie Arnot, who scored a third of the goals during that run, has departed for Manchester United, along with another Scotland internationalist, Kirsty Smith.

Yesterday Hibs lost another capped player in Lucy Graham. The attacking midfielder has been reunited with former Hibs head coach Chris Roberts at Bristol City.

The game is also important for Accies, who need to start picking up points quickly as they are only one point ahead of bottom club Spartans in the table. Doctor says recent signing Kirstie McIntosh will add athleticism to his midfield.

SPARTANS have had their own upheaval to contend with. Head coach Paul Greig, who only joined the club last November, has been replaced by Debbi McCulloch. The business and operations manager will be in charge of the team until the end of the season.