Pat Fenlon is desperate to enjoy another European adventure, writes JOE McHUGH.
While Inverness Caledonian Thistle, St Johnstone and Ross County battle it out at the top of the SPL to join Celtic and Motherwell in Europe, Hibs have their place assured thanks to a Scottish Cup final date with champions Celtic.
Shelbourne's 2004 clashes against Deportivo la Coruna are Fenlon's favourite European memory having also taken Derry City and Bohemians into continental action.
"I have been in Europe a lot as a manager," the Hibs boss (right) recalled. "In about 10 years I think we qualified pretty much every season.
"We managed to dodge the trips to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan but we had a couple of tricky ties in Iceland. The conditions were never great and it was always a surreal atmosphere.
"But, to be fair, we had some cracking trips around Europe and we can look forward to that next season.
"I think it's important to take the competition really seriously. Look at Shamrock Rovers a couple of years ago, they got to the group stage and it can change the outlook at a club.
"There is some serious revenue to be made which would make a difference."
Reliving Shelbourne's finest campaign he added: "We ended up playing Deportivo at home, who had been in the semi-final of the Champions League the previous season.
"As a manager that was the best experience I've ever had. Being up against some of the best players and coaches in the game. We drew the first leg 0-0 at home and the away tie was something that every player should aspire towards experiencing."
Hibernian's trip to Kilmarnock yesterday was abandoned early in the second half with the score 1-1 after a supporter in the stand at Rugby Park suffered a suspected heart-attack.