Hibs midfielder Ellis Notley reveals milestone surprise and what she thinks is her best position
Hibs midfielder Ellis Notley has been at the club ten years, but her 150th appearance for the first team came as a bit of a surprise.
“I literally didn’t know until two seconds before walking out that I had 150 appearances,” she revealed after the Edinburgh derby against Hearts at Easter Road. “It was a nice reception from all fans, and it was a memorial moment.”
In front of a record 8,066 crowd at Easter Road, Notley was presented with a shirt with 150 on the back before kick-off to celebrate her oncoming achievement at the club. The 23-year-old academy graduate, who joined the club as a 13-year-old, couldn’t have asked for a grander setting to mark her milestone match and was able to celebrate as Hibs overcame Hearts on penalties to win the first edition of the Capital Cup after the 1-1 SWPL fixture ended in 1-1 draw.
“I can’t ask much more for an 150th appearance, winning the Capital Cup”, she told Edinburgh Evening News. “It’s disappointing not to get the three points but we didn’t lose, we got a point and won the cup so it’s a nice, memorable 150th appearance. The record crowd alone was great, it’s great for the women’s game.”
A first-team regular, Notley is a versatile player who has been used in defence and midfield by manager Dean Gibson this season. She was named Hibs player of the season at the end of the last campaign for her consistent performances and has maintained her good form this season, Gibson rating her highly and regarding her as a key player.
“I want to play every game, whether that’s defence, midfield or full-back,” she added. “I will do the role I have been given and the job I have been told to do. Personally, I think my best position is in midfield but if I’m in defence or full-back I will try my best and do whatever I need to do to help the team win.”
Notley made her debut in 2016 after graduating through the academy. She has experienced big changes in her ten years at the club and believes they the club’s investment has helped further their progress. “When I first came in, I was a young girl,” she recalled. “I have seen the steps and the strides the club have made to make it more professional, the investment we have made and the backing of the women’s team. To be integrated and have professional contracts players, the club has grown massively. Hopefully we can keep going and keep making steps forward to improve the game.
“We are a team that will never give up, always work as hard as we can for each other. We have such good quality throughout the squad. When a player comes off the bench, they add something to us. They give us a goal threat or defensive structure. We will never give up, always keep striding and we are looking forward to the cup final.”
Hibs have some tricky tests coming up as they are set to travel to top-of-the-league Glasgow City on Sunday aiming to continue their unbeaten run. The following Sunday, they travel to Tynecastle Park for SWPL Cup final against league champions Rangers.