Dean Gibson hails Ben Kensell and Ron Gordon as Hibs Women coach reveals delight at club's backing
Dean Gibson is confident that Hibs Women are on the brink of entering a new era as the head coach revealed his delight at the level of the backing from owner Ron Gordon and chief executive Ben Kensell.
The club’s hierarchy have got the ball rolling with plans to integrate the women’s team with the men’s, starting with next week’s Edinburgh derby taking place at Easter Road.
Kensell has already outlined his hopes that the club can set a new women's attendance record for the Capital clash and has called on supporters to back the women’s game “not just for Hibs, but for Scottish football” as well.
He added: “It's a big day for Hibs, it’s a big day for women's football in Scotland. It's probably long overdue.
"It's going be great under the lights and hopefully, we can get a record-breaking crowd. When they played Bayern Munich, we got just under 3,000 so we'd love to get more this time round. It's free to get in, so we're hoping for a big crowd; we're hoping for a great performance and of course, we're hoping for a win."
Gibson has been impressed by what he has seen from Kensell and Gordon so far.
"I’ve had a couple of meetings now with them and they’re on another level in terms of the way they want to support us,” he said.
"It’s the most enthusiastic I’ve felt since I’ve been at the club, and I don’t just mean since I’ve been coaching the first team.
"This is the most engaged the club’s ever been, in my opinion, with the women’s side. It’s a great start, and hopefully it is just a start and we can go from strength to strength.”
Hibs Women, like their male counterparts, can currently be found at the summit of the Scottish Women's Premier League but Gibson knows the next week will tell him a lot about the side’s aspirations for the 2021/22 campaign.
“We've had a great start to the season but the next three games will give an indication of how close we are to the top.
“We had competitive games last season with Glasgow City, Celtic, and Rangers and we weren’t far away.
"We've strengthened the squad, and we had a lot of injuries last season so I would like to think that the 27-point gap will be a lot closer this time around.
“It’s a big week for us; we need to try and keep focused on Celtic and try to put the excitement of playing at Easter Road to bed until we get that one out the way.”
Hibs Women stalwart Siobhan Hunter has experience of playing at Easter Road before in that match against Bayern and Slavia Prague, also in the Champions League.
"Against Slavia we came out and get goosebumps hearing the fans shouting and backing the team,” she recalled. "That was a special moment.”
The centre-half has been with Hibs for nearly twenty years and believes the tide is turning in terms of interest in the women’s game.
"When I first started there was virtually no media at all but I think events like this, with the backing of the club and the supporters, and the media behind you is only going to increase the numbers attending games,” she added.