HIBS Ladies captain Joelle Murray hopes there will be good news for all at Easter Road when her team meets Glasgow City in the final of the League Cup at Ainslie Park tonight.
“The men’s and women’s games are completely different, but we are the same club and it was upsetting for me, being a Hibs fan, that we lost in the play-offs,” Murray said. “If we can come out on top in the final it will be positive for everybody.”
Her side faces a formidable task tonight as City have won 11 successive domestic trophies. The last time they didn’t was in 2011, when they lost 2-1 to Hibs – who went on to win the trophy – in the League Cup semi-final.
“They’ve won the last 11 trophies and because of that very dominant record we have to break down the mental barriers,” Murray admitted.
“We’ve not done anything different in terms of preparation. In the past we’ve adapted our training schedule, but it’s maybe worked against us. The way Chris [Roberts, the Hibs coach] has approached this game is correct. We’ve obviously touched on some aspects of how Glasgow City play, but essentially we’ve focused on ourselves.
“The only other player in our team from the 2011 side is Lisa Robertson. She later left to play for City for a season, but then came back.”
The sides drew 3-3 in a league game last month, an outcome which suggests Hibs may have a decent chance of finally ending the 11-trophy sequence. The average age of the team is just 19, but, the draw against City aside, they have won every league game so far this season.
The City captain, Leanne Ross, is another who played in the 2011 game and has an extraordinary collection of 18 winners’ medals which attest to her side’s sweeping control of Scottish women’s football since 2007.
“Although Hibs have beaten us in a couple of semi-finals, I’ve never been on the losing side in any cup final and hopefully that will continue,” Ross pointed out.
The versatile player attributes her side’s prolonged success to consistency and keeping ahead of the opposition off the pitch as well as on it. Nevertheless, she concedes that other sides, including Hibs and Rangers, could be starting to close the gap.
“It’s only good for Scottish football if they are, because we’ve set the standard in terms of upping the training,” Ross said. “It also helps massively that we’ve kept a settled squad for a long period of time.”
For the first time ever the final, which starts at 7.30pm, will be streamed live on YouTube.