Derby County Ladies Football Club

Ewe Rams Chief Looking Ahead to 2019 after Another Positive Year

Derby County Ladies Chief Executive Duncan Gibb believes the positives have easily outweighed the negatives in 2018 and the outlook for 2019 has never been better for the Ewe Rams and that they continue to go from strength to strength.

On the pitch the Ewe Rams have enjoyed their best start to the season, despite a tough November that saw the club lose three consecutive games and after Manager Sam Griffiths replaced previous incumbent John Bennett at the start of the season, Gibb has been pleased with the transition.

Gibb said “It has been a great start to the season and though we have had a little dip in November, we are in a great position to get our highest ever finish in what is such a tough league. JB set the tone for the club in his two seasons back at the helm and Sam has continued to improve on the quality and professionalism we strived for.

“Its always tough to lose a great guy like John and it was honestly gutting that he has moved onto new pastures but great to see him back in the game at Long Eaton United and doing well. Sam has been around the club for a while and having that consistency was key and she has come in and impressed us with everything she has done.

“The squad has improved and we have a great core of players and we have had some fantastic moments already this season with them. We go into 2019 with a lot of hard work to do but in a fantastic position to achieve our goals and push on.”

Off the pitch there has been plenty of positives that outweighed the negative of missing out on a place in the new FA Women’s Championship when their bid for a place was turned down but Gibb believes that in hindsight it was the right decision.

“We worked really hard on our bid and we had feedback that it was a great bid but other clubs were just further along in their journey and you can’t really complain about that, though giving us the FA Club of the Year award a few weeks later was brave from them I must admit, especially as we weren’t expecting it.

“With what has happened since that decision with clubs dropping out and some struggling to keep afloat, maybe it was best for us to go the conventional route but now it means we need to build towards that and it’s tough with so many good clubs now.

“The Northern league is unbelievably hard and that needs to be factored in when we see where we come at the end of the season but I can see the improvement and ideally it will show in terms of league position and we can build again next season and continue to improve on the pitch.”

Over the years there has been support from the main club but this past year has seen the ‘One Club’ approach go to new levels and Gibb believes that the support from them has meant the club can look forward to a brighter future and can’t thank them enough.

“We’ve had support from the main club in the past but nothing like it is today and they have been try to their word in everything they have promised, which they didn’t have to do. But they have backed us and now we need to show them that we can go places. I think off the pitch we are in a fantastic place and Sam is improving the on pitch side on an ongoing basis.

“That game at Pride Park in front of a record crowd of 2,109 will be hard to top and that shows how much the relationship between the two arms of the club has come along. To win in front of our rivals with the winner scored by a local player in Amy Sims, it can’t get as good as that can it?

“We are thankful to everyone at Derby County, particularly the owner Mel Morris and CEO Stephen Pearce but also our great friends Faye Nixon and Ian Cherry who continue to pull it out for us. Our board have once again proved why we are good at what we do and we’ve added another great member in Alison Cope who has hit the ground running. 

“I’m sure 2019 will be another milestone year for the club and we hope that we can continue to enjoy the support of the great Derby County fans and we hope to see them in the New Year. All that is left is for us to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Our next match see’s the Ewe Rams in Women’s FA Cup action as they welcome Stoke City Ladies to Mickleover Sports on the 6th January 2019 in a 1pm kick-off.