Rachael Boyle signs new three-year deal with Hibs Women as Dean Gibson hails 'next captain'
Rachael Boyle has signed a new three-year deal with Hibs Women, keeping her at the club until 2025.
The midfielder, who is a key part of Dean Gibson’s side, is currently pregnant with her second child but has expressed a desire to return to action in the future, as she did following the birth of first child Amelia with husband Martin.
Known as ‘Smally’, Boyle scored in two Edinburgh derby victories in 2021 before announcing in March that she would be taking a step back as she prepared to welcome a new addition to their family.
Gibson said: “Getting Smally re-signed on a long-term contract is a big statement from the club. It’s no secret how highly both myself and the club think of her not only as a player, but also as a person.
"I would argue she’s the best player in the league, her experience on top of her ability is priceless, she is an international football player and one we have missed a lot since January."
"Smally is naturally the next captain for this club, to have her and Joelle within the squad is huge. When we finally get her back within the group, it’s only going make us stronger.
"Until then, we hope the last couple of weeks of her pregnancy goes smoothly. Once the baby has arrived, we will do all we can to support her and when she feels ready, start the process of getting her back on the pitch."
Boyle added: “I’m delighted to sign a new deal. I always knew when I fell pregnant that I wanted to come back to football and to Hibs. I feel that I still have something to contribute to the team when I return to full fitness.
"Hibs has always been a family orientated club since I’ve been here and that’s why it was an easy decision for me to prolong my stay.”
Boyle joined Hibs in 2016 from Aberdeen and was part of the team that won the Scottish Women’s Cup in 2016 and 2017, and the SWPL Cup in 2017.
She missed most of the 2018 campaign while pregnant with Amelia but returned to action for both club and country, and has to date been capped 43 times by Scotland since her debut in July 2010.