Derby County Ladies Football Club

Match Preview – Stoke City Ladies (Away)

Derby County Ladies return to action in the FA Women’s Premier League with an away trip to local rivals Stoke City Ladies.

Having reached their joint highest position of 5th last season, Ewe Rams Manager John Bennett has seen a summer of change at the club, having to replace long-term injured players and a few departures.

Bennett, going into his second consecutive season in charge of the club is confident having recruited a number of experienced players at this level, as well as some exciting youngsters and is raring to go.

Bennett said “The squad are raring to go and we are looking at getting off the mark with a win over what will be a very tough Stoke City side who will be looking to once again challenge for a WSL place and have excellent backing in what they do.

“We’ve had a good pre-season, we’ve grown in confidence and as a team and we’ve brought in both experience and youth, all with that added quality that is needed at this level.

“We still have some absentees through both injuries and non-availability but I have every confidence in those that will start in the game on Sunday and I also know that there will be others itching to get on and make their mark on the game.”

The Ewe Rams will be without strikers Hannah Jones and Kirsty Allen, who will be out for a number of weeks still, as well as the long-term absentees. Lauren Cresswell will not be risked this week but should be in contention for a return next week. They’ll also be without experience duo Lisa Giampalma and Leanne De Silva, as well as new signing Georgia Hewitt. 

Derby County Ladies Squad (From)

Sarah Morgan, Hannah Ward(c), Kelly Kennaugh, Kate Wright, Megan Clarkson, Chloe Hutsby, Amy Sims, Molly Johnson, Nikki Ledgister, Cam Newton, Karagh Tait, Sophia Bonser, Andi Bell

Injuries

Hannah Jones (Groin), Kirsty Allen (Knee), Lauren Cresswell (Knee), Emily Jeffrey (Knee), Sam Griffiths (Knee)

Absent

Leanne De Silva, Lisa Giampalma, Georgia Hewitt

Key Player

Hannah Ward – Leading the side this season, ‘Wardy’ will be a key player in the opening game of the season with a lot of new faces to integrate within the squad. Pre-season has gone well for the versatile Ewe Ram including a hat-trick against Loughborough Foxes and the experienced player will be looking to inspire her team to an opening win of the season. 

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Stoke City Ladies – A View on the Opposition

The Potters Ladies have had a good pre-season winning four out of five games, with their only loss to Drury University from the USA. They welcome back Hannah Keryakoplis to the club and they have largely kept their squad intact from last season. There are high hopes that Stoke City Ladies can challenge for a WSL place this season and the experience in the squad could be a positive for the Potters.

Manager – Steve Swanwick

Key PlayerAshleigh Hayes – An experienced forward having joined the club in 2014 and has a good scoring record and will be looking to once again finish the season as top-scorer for the Potters and is one to watch.

Stoke City Ladies (Pre-Season Form)

v TNS (Home) – 4-1 Win

v Drury University (USA) (Home) 2-3 Loss

v Birmingham & West Midlands (Home) 5-1 Win

v Caernarfon Town (Home) 9-0 Win

v Leeds United (Away) 4-1 Win

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Match Information – Kick-Off – 2:00pm

Location –Norton United FC, Communinty Drive, Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 1QF

Entrance Price – £2 

Directions to Norton United FC (Stoke City Ladies Home Ground)

  • From the A500 (D road) in Stoke.
  • Take the A53 towards Leek.
  • After passing under the A5272 take the LEFT turn down Norton Drive just before the Esso garage.
  • Turn Left at the T junction (Brownley Road) and RIGHT at the T junction in to Community Drive