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Hibernian can look forward to UEFA Women's Champions League football for the first time in their history following their 2-1 victory over Celtic on Sunday.
The result guarantees Hibs a place in the top two in the Scottish Women's Premier League, regardless of what happens between now and the end of the season, due to the number of qualifying teams from Scotland being increased to two as from next year. There is still much to play for in the remaining games, starting with a vital clash against leaders Glasgow City this week, but defender Kirsty Smith is delighted with what they have achieved so far.
"It's an amazing feeling to have secured a place in the Champions League, especially with such a talented and great team," Kirsty told Women's Soccer Scene. "I think it's credit to the hard work and commitment from everyone at the club this season.
"It is great to be in the position of having two places in the Champions League. Credit goes out to how much the game has grown in Scotland, through the national team and the success of Glasgow City in previous years."
The game against Celtic was the club's first in the league since going down to their first defeat of the season to Aberdeen and Kirsty admits that the win was a particularly important one.
"Yes, it definitely was," she replied. "Each game is crucial for us and after suffering a defeat, that was definitely the reaction that you would hope for from the team. As a team we hope to end the season in the strongest way possible and this result plays a big part in that."
Hibs are currently three points behind Glasgow City in the table but this week presents them with an opportunity to rectify this when they take on the leaders in what is likely to be a title defining game. So far this campaign, the teams have drawn their previous meetings in open play (Glasgow City won on penalties in the Premier League Cup Final).
"I think this game will be one of many important games the club has had," says Kirsty. "However I think this season as a whole has been most important. The head to head games between us have been crucial games, however the games against all other teams have counted just as much and have contributed towards how far we have come.
"The team performances this season have helped us build a strong mentality and togetherness that has carried on into all our games.
"I think in each and every game, we go out to win and to play our best football. The game on Sunday will be no different and that's how our mentality will be.
"We will be going out to win this game so that we are in the best possible situation coming up to the end of the season."
Photo - Callum Landells
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