Derby County Ladies Football Club

DERBY COUNTY CAPTAINS’ DELIGHT AT MEN’S AND WOMEN’S PARTNERSHIP

Article written by Derby University Football Journalism Student Ryan Plant

Derby County captains Curtis Davies and Hannah Ward are delighted that the men’s and women’s clubs have come together as one.

Speaking at the University of Derby, to the only football journalism course in the country, the Rams’ skippers recognised the importance of maintaining a strong partnership.

Ladies midfielder Ward, who has been with Sam Griffiths’ side for over a decade, said: “This season, we have got the best relationship we have ever had with the men’s side.

“I have been at the club for a long time now, but it has only been in the last few years that I’ve thought that both teams are moving in the right direction together.”

Davies has enjoyed watching the women’s game’s progression, since moving to Pride Park from Hull City in the summer of 2017.

He said: “We have a big responsibility as captains, to the club and the community. I point to the success of the women’s national team, too; they have done really well. Younger girls will, hopefully, watch them and want to be a part of it one day.

“More women’s sport is on television, and our national teams are doing really well in lots of sports and competitions. If that does not inspire youngsters, I don’t know what will.”

The pair spoke at length about their times at the club, and how they wish for great success at the end of both sides’ respective seasons in the Championship and Women’s National League North, the third tier of the female game.

ward and davies

Curtis Davies and Hannah Ward took part in a questions and answers session at the University of Derby on Monday.

“A couple of years ago, I don’t think Curtis and I would’ve been sat here together,” said Ward.

“When something new comes in, like women’s football, not everybody takes to it quickly. But, we are getting more opportunities; if it isn’t out there for the world to see, people will not buy into it.”

The Ladies play at Mickleover Sports’ stadium, the Don Amott LG Arena, but train at the Training Centre in partnership with the University of Derby, which is shared by the men, women and academy.

Griffiths’s side also hosted a game at Pride Park for the first time in September of last year, against local-rivals Nottingham Forest in a 1-0 victory.

Ward said: “We are starting to attract bigger crowds, particularly for derby games. Training at the same place as Curtis’ team is something I always get excited about, too.

“With more exposure, the Ladies team will only keep building. Both sides have a shared goal: to always be better.”