Hibs LADIES’ captain Laura Kennedy believes tomorrow’s Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup first-round clash with Celtic is the perfect fixture to open the new season.
The holders start the defence of their trophy against the Hoops at Lennoxtown (kick-off 4.00pm) – a venue at which they have never tasted victory before.
And, to further cause concern, the Hibees’ preparations have been disrupted this week with no fewer than eight players away with their national teams and unavailable for club training, despite being due back yesterday.
Yet, despite having little time to prepare for their trip along the M8, the Easter Road girls are confident of ending their hoodoo at the Parkhead club’s training ground.
Kennedy commented: “Drawing Celtic is the perfect way to start the new season because they are a top side but there is little between the teams and it will be a tough game.
“It will likely be a close encounter, a physical game and the fact that there are so many former Hibs players in their side will add spice to the fixture.
“They will be out to prove a point, however, we will focus on the game and not let that affect is.
“It’s just unfortunate that since the switch to summer football our training for the new season has been disrupted due to the Cyprus and La Manga Cups. However, these fixtures have been known for some time, it is the same for both teams and you just hope the players return injury free.”
Despite Celtic’s recruitment of Hibees, Kennedy added: “We are the holders of the trophy and have no intention of giving it up anytime soon, so we will travel to Glasgow confident we can get through.”
Elsewhere, city rivals Hutchison Vale face newly promoted Aberdeen at Saughton Enclosure, kick-off 2.00pm. Manager Neil MacRae believes there is enough quality throughout his team to progress through to the next round after facing the girls from Granite City.
He said: “Tomorrow’s game is certainly going to be an interesting one and both teams will believe they have a chance to progress.
“Aberdeen did well to get promoted to the Scottish Women’s Premier League from the First Division last season and we will show them the respect they’ve earned. However we are confident of progressing in the competition if we can get the ball down and play the way we know we can.”