CAITLIN HAYES hopes it’s not just the men afforded the opportunity to bring Champions League nights to Celtic Park this season.

Celtic Women commence their UWCL qualifying campaign against Danish side Brondby on Wednesday as they bid to book a place in the prestigious group stage. But the journey is a gruelling one consisting of two rounds, the first of which is a mini-tournament and the second a two-legged knockout.

A tall order, but the rewards are substantial, not least the opportunity to pit your wits against the continent’s very best. Should they get there, defender Hayes wants to ensure they arrive with the ultimate home advantage.

Celtic fans helped break Scottish women’s football attendances as they turned out in droves for late-season SWPL matches held at Parkhead last season. Those were special occasions for Hayes and their team-mates, something she is desperate to replicate.

“Yes – that’s my answer,” she replied emphatically to the prospect of European nights at Celtic Park. “There’s no better place I want to play at, I would never say no to playing at Celtic Park.

“There’s no other stadium in this world that you could put on the line and ask me where I’d want to play, I’d still pick Celtic Park.

“That’s absolutely where I’d want to play Champions League – if we’re lucky enough to get to the group stage.”

A second-placed finish when it could so easily have been more was painful for Celtic to take last term, but it was still enough for European qualification. And she insists it’s a privilege to represent the club on this stage.

Qualifying takes place slightly later this year, which has allowed Celtic to get competitive games under their belt to prime them for the challenge of Brondby, and Hayes believes that can only be a good thing.

“I can’t wait,” she said. “Obviously, there’s only two spots in this league and they’re fought for greatly. To represent this shirt on the stage it should be represented, it’s a great honour. It’s something I can’t wait for.

“It’s something we’re working hard for.

“I think the more games you have the better you go, provided the coaching staff are doing the right things, and they are doing the right things.

“The first time we competed in it, it was our first game together and we hadn’t necessarily gelled or intertwined as much. But I can tell you now, this team has gelled and is ready to go.

“It’s something I’m excited for, and thankful to have those league games to iron out those notches and for Fran to find out his strongest starting XI is something I’m sure he’s grateful for.”