Derby County Ladies Football Club

Merrill Academy take to the Pride Park Pitch

The chance to play on the hallowed turf of Wembley bound Derby County at Pride Park, is seen as an opportunity of a lifetime and for Derby County Ladies Club Partners at Merrill Academy, it was an opportunity not to be missed.

The Ewe Rams have been in a formal partnership with Merrill since 2016 when the club secured the facilities at the school as it’s primary training venue.

This week saw two teams of school children take their place on the Pride Park pitch to play in a mixed team match to promote the growing positivity surrounding the current relationship and left Merrill Academy Head Teacher Paul Beedle looking to the future of the school.

Beedle said “It’s been a tough few years for the Academy and there has been lots of upheaval and it has caused a number of issues that needed addressing and we have being working hard to resolve them.

“Days like today show that progress has been made and for us it’s showing that our students are at the forefront of our mind and getting everything in place will help to improve our offerings.

“We have many talented students and staff here at Merrill Academy and we want to ensure that we are providing them with a solid education and a solid place to work.

“To see the students and staff having a great time playing our national game and on the pitch at Pride Park is wonderful to see and it is a memory for them to keep for a lifetime.”

The use of Merrill Academy and their partnership with the Ewe Rams is seen as a key component for CEO Duncan Gibb and he has praised the ongoing and future relationship with the school.

Gibb said “We’ve been delighted with the partnership with Paul and the team at Merrill Academy, it has been a key relationship in our rise and our recent success on the field is down to our relationships with our partners.

“We always see our role in our partnerships to have a reciprocal arrangement and we have enjoyed going into Merrill to give talks and do coaching sessions which the school kids have benefited from.

“Giving the school an option to play on the Pride Park pitch is a great opportunity for Merrill Academy and we were pleased to help facilitate this and we are looking forward to our continued working arrangement with the Academy and using the wonderful facilities at the school.”