Chris Roberts set for emotional Hibs Ladies farewell

Chris Roberts has been appointed first-team coach at Bristol City
Chris Roberts has been appointed first-team coach at Bristol City
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Outgoing Hibs Ladies boss Chris Roberts says he expects to shed a few tears when he takes his team for the final time against Aberdeen tomorrow.

The 31-year-old decided to call time on seven-and-half-years with the SWPL Scottish and League Cup holders a fortnight ago by agreeing to take up the post of first-team coach at Bristol City Women next Monday.

Roberts revealed he thought long and hard about the decision to join compatriot Willie Kirk in the south west of England but says the lure of working in the game full-time was an opportunity he couldn’t let pass by.

Hibs remain two points adrift of SWPL 1 league leaders Glasgow City but will be confident of picking up all three points to send Roberts out on a high.

“I will be emotional. I’ve given every ounce of my energy to the job and have loved every minute of it,” Roberts said. “They are an incredible group of players and I will really miss them so the thought of leaving them is quite sad. I’m excited for the opportunity at Bristol so it’s bittersweet, I suppose.

“There have been so many good times while I’ve been here. Walking out in front of almost 3000 fans at Easter Road for the Champions League match with Bayern Munich last season is something I’ll never forget.

“But, winning the League Cup (May 2016), my first as manager, was special and then we won the Scottish Cup last November too.

“But I think when I look back on my time with the club, probably what I will be most proud of is that we’ve given young players a chance, particularly from our own academy.”

The club are through to next month’s Scottish Cup final where they’ll meet Glasgow City and Roberts added: “I’d love to have seen the job out but it’s not about me. The players just need to continue what they’ve been doing and end the season strongly. Bristol needed me to start this month so it’s an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.”

Elsewhere this weekend, in SWPL 1 Spartans Women host Rangers and in SWPL 2, Hearts welcome Buchan to King’s Park while Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale play Glasgow Girls at Peffermill.