Hibs midfielder Ava Kuyken aiming for titles as they prepare for Glasgow Women
Despite only joining in 2022, 21-year-old Ava Kuyken already has high ambitions for the club, insisting that, soon, Hibs will be “competing to win the league every year”.
Joining from Bristol City in the summer, the Englishwomen has had a positive start to life in the Scottish capital and scored in the 3-0 win against Spartans last month. Looking back to when she signed for Hibs, she believes the ambition of the club helped win her over.
“Edinburgh as a city, I’d only heard good things about it and from what Dean was telling me”, she told the Edinburgh Evening News. “The club seemed to be moving in a really positive and exciting direction. Obviously, we went full-time this year too. This year was meant to be a transitional year but over the next few years, people will see Hibs entering that top three and competing to win the league every year.”
The midfielder graduated from the Arsenal academy, making her debut at 16 years old in the FA Continental Cup. After making 10 first-team appearances for the Gunners, she would move to Florida Gators in the USA before moving back to England in 2021.
“It was amazing”, she said looking back on her career journey. “I came through the Arsenal academy and left when I was 18, playing for the first team from when I was 16. I went to America to try and pursue balancing academics with football which I think is a lot harder to do in England. I wanted to get a degree while I played football. I loved it, it was really good.”
Hibs sit fifth in the SWPL1 after a resounding 4-0 win against Partick Thistle last Sunday. This weekend will be a different challenge however as they take on bottom of the league Glasgow Women. The opposition has accumulated zero points this campaign and has only scored six goals all season in the league. With the game presenting another opportunity to reduce the points gap on Hearts, Kuyken believes they cannot underestimate the opposition when they welcome them to the Meadowbank Stadium.
“It’s a good opportunity to get three points so that’s obviously the main target”, she stated. “We had a good performance last week so hopefully, we can get some consistency back and get a couple of wins in a row.
“You’ve got to treat it as any other game, and we don’t want to underestimate them. I’m sure they will be coming into it, trying to get any points they can. It will be a big game for them, so we just have to try and see it in the same way.
“Sunday is a good chance to rotate the squad and give some other players some minutes. Obviously, we have quite a few games coming up and Rangers on Thursday will be a big one. It’s a good opportunity, especially with other teams having some hard runs coming up. It’s a good chance for us to start making our way up the table.”