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An exciting new partnership has been set up to secure Hibernian's place at the summit of the fast-growing women's game in Scotland.
Hibernian FC, Hibernian Ladies and Hibernian Girls have agreed a stronger new way of working together to support the further development of female players.
Officials and players of the three organisations gathered on Thursday at the Hibernian Training Centre in East Lothian as further evidence of this new working relationship which will enhance the sustainability of the success enjoyed by both Hibernian Ladies and Hibernian Girls.
As they met up for their first training session of the new pre-season, the Hibernian Ladies team looked forward to defending their Unite Scottish Cup and Premier League Cup trophies, as well as seeking to recapture the Premier League title.
The East Lothian training session provided the perfect opportunity for the senior ladies squad to rub shoulders with those girls hoping to secure places within the new Hibernian Girls Under-21 squad for next season. The creation of an Under-21 team is the next development for Hibernian Girls as clear player pathway is created. In addition to Under-13, 15 and 17 teams, the Under-21 team should ultimately ensure that talented players can progress all the way through the Hibernian system from youth to the senior ladies team, participating in the Premier League.
Hibernian Girls Chairperson Lindsay Weir commented: "We are delighted to be part of what we believe will be a new and exciting future together. We have been talking for some time about our shared desire to work more closely together with both Hibernian FC and Hibernian Ladies and we are hugely enthusiastic about the future. In particular, we are keen to find players who are eligible for our new Under-21 team and the opportunity to train alongside top class senior players is one that everyone is thrilled about."
Looking forward, whilst acknowledging that Hibernian Ladies have lost some important players, Hibernian Chief Executive Scott Lindsay said: "Hibernian Ladies have been the top side in Scotland for some time now and with the support and backing of both the Club and Hibernian Girls organization, our aim is to assist them to stay there.
"Some of the girls from last season have taken the chance to experience the English leagues and Shelley Kerr has chosen to take a new opportunity after several years of outstanding service. We wish them well but the team is now looking forward with a new coach, access to some of the best training facilities in Scotland and a renewed, stronger relationship with both Hibernian FC and Hibernian Girls."
Players interested in playing for Hibernian Ladies or Hibernian Girls Under-21 team, are asked to contact Lindsay Weir on (07932) 698557.
The opportunity to become main sponsor of the Hibernian Ladies team is still available for the 2008-09 season. Interested parties should contact Anna Devine at Hibernian Football Club on (07717) 896056.
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