Former Hibs’ manager Willie Kirk remains excited by the potential of his young Everton players and believes that they will ‘continue to improve’ despite their extra-time FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.

Kirk enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Hibernian Ladies before moving to Bristol City and subsequently Manchester United as a number two.

When he took over at Everton the Toffees’ were bottom of the Super League but he has transformed the team and lead them to Wembley.

Sam Mewis’ first-half header gave City the lead before Valerie Gauvin equalised with 30 minutes remaining at Wembley.

Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie came off the bench to score in the final ten minutes of extra-time and help City retain the trophy.

“After the final whistle Kirk said: “The longer it goes you’re thinking penalties and then you lose a goal but I think we continuously created chances.

“We were a continuous threat. I thought we could have been a little better in the final third to make those good chances great chances but City deserved it. They had to push themselves because we pushed them hard. Congratulations to them but we will be back.

“I still think that’s the case. The commitment I got from the players today only reinforced my belief. The beauty of the group is they are continuously learning from these experiences.

“Molly Pike and Poppy Pattinson are 19 and 20 respectively. That experience will hold them in great stead. Grace Clinton, 17. Sandy MacIver, 22. It is such a young team and we will continue to improve and I firmly believe we will have a successful season.”