Hibees await Champions League draw – but Rangers first

Abigail Harrison, left, in action

Abigail Harrison, left, in action

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Hibs Ladies’ striker Abi Harrison says Thursday’s men’s Champions League Group Stage draw has planted the seed throughout the squad as Chris Roberts’ side prepare to learn their fate this week.

The Hibees will go into this Thursday’s Round of 32 stage as the competition’s lowest seeded team having secured their qualification through finishing runner’s up in last season’s SWPL 1.

First up though is Rangers in tomorrow’s league clash at Albyn Park, Broxburn, before Roberts jets off to Nyon in Switzerland on Wednesday for the prestigious ceremony the following day. Reigning league champions Glasgow City are also in the pot alongside the likes of Lyon, Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona and Manchester City.

But teenager Harrison, who netted a brace in last weekend’s 6-1 defeat of Spartans, says she and the rest of the girls will be waiting with bated breath at home.

“Everyone is really excited but we know we’re going to get a really tough opponent. It’s going to be a great experience to see where we are in comparison with the other sides in the competition. The men’s draw is obviously a completely different set up as they’re all professional, whereas we aren’t and 99 per cent of the other women’s teams we are likely to face are.

“There are some real top sides in there so we aren’t under any illusions as to the challenge we might face.

“But tomorrow is another big game for us as we’ve have to keep winning in hope of catching Glasgow City. They’re still five points ahead of us but we don’t really worry too much about what they’re doing.

“Our focus is on Rangers and trying to get another three points. What City do is outwith our control but we won’t give up. Every game is tough but we just need to keep looking after what we do.”

In SWPL 2, second-top Hearts will be hoping to avenge last weekend’s narrow defeat by Capital rivals Hutchison Vale when they visit Buchan. Vale are also on their travels with a trip to top-of-the-table Glasgow Girls.