Ben Kensell 'blown away by Hibs fans at derby' as he makes women's team promise
Ben Kensell has hailed the backing the Hibs fans gave to their team at Tynecastle during last weekend’s Edinburgh derby – and revealed he wants to do the same for the women's side.
The chief executive announced yesterday that the upcoming clash between Hibs Women and their Hearts counterparts would be played at Easter Road – something he is keen to see happen more regularly.
"The atmosphere at Tynecastle was terrific; I loved the three and a half thousand Hibs fans that we brought. I was almost transfixed. It certainly looked from social media that they were having a lot of fun in the concourse area as well and that’s what football is all about,” Kensell told the Hibee Buzz show.
"Yes, it’s about winning, and losing, and drawing – results matter – but it’s about the fans. The overriding sentiment for me from the draw against Hearts at Tynecastle was the fever pitch noise coming out of the stadium that day, seeing the derby back, and having our fans singing and backing our team.
"I was blown away by the support that we had on the day and the noise and volume. We did a fantastic job in supporting Jack and the players on the pitch and almost turning it into a home match.
"It was fantastic and great to be a part of that fixture. I can't wait until we play them at Easter Road and beat them then!”
The Hibs chief also outlined his plans to fully integrate all the club's teams, with particular focus on the women.
“I’m really keen on Hibs becoming an incredibly inclusive community club. Our Community Foundation does great work, but we don’t amplify that enough,” he continued.
"We don’t make fans aware or people in the community aware of the great work they do.
"Our women’s team sits within that organisation and we want to try to integrate that under the club banner as soon as we possibly can.
"On Wednesday, September 29 we will host the women’s derby and we want to create the same sort of atmosphere we get at the men’s derby."
Kensell remains hopeful that more than 3,000 will turn out to back the teams a week on Wednesday as he expressed a wish to build on the impressive attendance for Hibs’ European clash with Bayern Munich at the stadium a few years back.
"We really want to break a record. It’s really important to me that we’re inclusive, that we support all of our teams. When we played Bayern Munich in a women’s Champions League match some time ago we didn’t quite hit 3,000. I would love us to get a crowd of over 3,000 at Easter Road under the lights for the women’s derby where we can really celebrate the effort the team has put into date.
"They’re also doing fabulously well on the pitch, like our men’s team. We want to support that in every single way and I’d love our fans to get behind that.
"We want to break that record, we should break that record, and we should be proud of what all of our teams are doing.
"We’re really passionate about making it a permanent fixture if we can, moving forward.”