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Midfielder Gaël Bigirimana played in Hibs SPFL Reserve League outing away to Rangers having not featured for the first team since his debut against Aberdeen at the beginning of February.

The 25-year-old is now focussing on trying to impress in training and in SPFL Reserve League matches as he aims to help the team in the final few matches of the campaign.

Speaking after the game Bigirimana told Hibernian Media: “It felt good to get 90 minutes again. Since I have come to Hibs I haven’t played as much as I would have liked, but I thank God for me being able to participate in the game and that I managed to play all of it.

“Every player loves football and they want to be playing in matches. There is a thrive that you get from playing against an opponent. Even though it was a game in the Reserve League, I cherish it.

“If it keeps me fit for the team and the future, then I can’t turn it down. It was good to be involved.

“If the manager is at a Reserve game then it is up to him to assess me and for him to think about what he sees in the players in the team and of me.

“As a player it is up to me to show my ability and play with a positive attitude. The rest is for the manager to make his judgement call. He has watched all the games I have played in and hopefully he will feel that I have done well against Rangers.

“He’s always been honest with me. Sometimes as a player you want to hear the honesty, but sometimes the truth is too hard to swallow. At the end of the day, you appreciate that more. He has told me where I am in the order for the team.

“The team is obviously doing well and it is hard to break into, but it is up to me to work hard and earn my place in it. I want to help the team and if I can then it will be good for me. There is more to life than football at the end of the day. I have my faith, my wife and daughter, and my national team, but, God willing, I will get to help the club before the end of the season.”

In March, Bigirimana played in the game against Gabon for Burundi that sealed a historic moment for the nation as the team qualified for their first ever major tournament. The team will now take part in the 2019 African Cup of Nations and that is something that he and his national team-mates are looking forward to.

He continued: “As everybody seen it was a historical moment for the nation and for the team. It has been 57 years now since we got independence, and nothing has lifted the country like that game.

“For us to qualify for the tournament, in the country afterwards it was like another independence! The population went mad and were full of joy, it was a privilege to play in it.

“My team-mates know that it is a privilege too. I keep going on about my faith because in my country for a long time there was no hope. Our prayer was that God would have mercy on the nation and if the footballers could be used to bring hope and any sort of light to Burundi, then we would appreciate that and be honoured.

“For that to happen, it was amazing. Now, we have qualified for the African Cup of Nations and it was an amazing experience.”

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