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Women's Football News
Hibernian goalkeeper Gemma Fay is optimistic about her side's chances as they begin their UEFA Women's Cup campaign next week.
The Scottish Champions travel to Belgium where they will play their group matches against hosts Rapide Wezemaal, AFK Masinac-Classic Nis of Serbia & Montenegro and Croatian title winners ZNK Maksimir.
"We're feeling pretty confident," the Scottish international told Women's Soccer Scene. "We've come back for pre-season training pretty early and we're in good shape."
Gemma played in the UEFA Women's Cup with Ayr United three years ago, and found it a great experience. "I played against the Croatian side when I was with Ayr, and they were a very physical side. I've also faced a few of the Belgians when they played an international against Scotland but I must admit I know nothing about Nis."
Hibernian took the Scottish Premier League by storm last season, racing to win the title by ten clear points from previous Champions Kilmarnock. "We had a good team spirit which really helped us last season, and it all came together," says Gemma. "The only down side was that we went out of the Cup competitions at an early stage, so this year we are going for all three trophies. Our biggest rivals are likely to come from Kilmarnock, Glasgow City and Hamilton, who are a good young side."
It will be a busy few months for the 22-year-old as, not only will she be in action for Hibernian, but also for Scotland as they chase a play-off place for next year's European Championships. They need to win their final group game against the Czech Republic in order to stand a chance of being one of the two third placed teams with the best qualifying record, which would see them into the play-offs.
"We shot ourselves in the foot a bit when we lost to Ukraine, but all we can do is our best against the Czechs and see what happens," admits Gemma. "The progress we've made has been phenomenal over the past few years and we've grown as a team.
"It's still a fairly young squad but we have played a lot of games and been through a lot together. We did really well against the World Champions Germany and only went down to two late goals so there is a lot to look forward to. We have a world class striker in Julie Fleeting but I also think Debbie McWhinnie, who links well up front with Julie, is also of that standard."
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