Derby County Ladies Football Club

Foundation of Success for Ewe Rams

Derby County Ladies Foundation Team Manager Chris Sanders believes both he and his side have learnt a lot about themselves as they look to finish the season on a high with two upcoming Cup Finals and a strong end to the league season.

Sanders joined the club at the beginning of the season from Rotherham United Ladies and he says that it was tough in the early days but his team has continued to flourish as the season has wore on.

Sanders said “We had a few injuries and players missing at the start of the season which meant for the first few games we only had 11 / 12 players available from a squad of about 20.

“We managed to get through that with help from some of the junior players stepping up and one particular senior player stepping in to help (Thanks Sheila).

“Also, without sounding like a stereotypical grass routes manager – funding has been a bit of an issue. Getting sponsorship at the start of the season was hard work and a big thanks to Duncan in arranging that for us in the end.

“There simply isn’t enough exposure of the league and teams at this level and maybe thats something the county FA’s and other teams need to work on improving.”

Sanders also had praise for his Assistant Coach Tom Hodges and said the support from the senior management teams have been very useful too and believes the team can continue to go onto success both this season and next.

“Having Tom H on board who has been part of the DCLFC structure for a few years now really helped me personally to settle in to the club so a big thanks to him, Sam Griffiths, Jenny Simpson, John Bennett et al for making it easy for us as a group to come together.

“The season has gone fantastically well. I will be honest and say I had some reservations about the girls stepping up from junior to adult football, giving my experience within the Derbyshire Ladies League I knew how physical it could be, but to a player they have all stepped up and made the adjustment brilliantly.

“I think our results show that, not many teams go through a league season unbeaten and who knows, maybe we can.Teams will always want to beat Derby County so will always up their games but I see that as massive sign of respect and big plus for us as a group.

“However, If we are off our game then we will get punished but to reach 2 cup finals out of 4 cups this season is great and the way we have done that by beating the top two teams in Division 1 in the semi finals goes to show what we can achieve as a group.”

With the recent news about the backing of Derby County on the Ladies arm of the club, Sanders feels it will a plus for his side and that a clear pathway has now been created for the Academy players who have options once they reach adult football.

“It can only be a positive thing. It give us all something to aim for and aspire too as players and coaches. We would be silly if we didn’t want to push for those things and we have to say a big well done to Duncan and the club committee for getting this kind of agreement in place.

“It has also created a new pathway for the junior players coming through the academy into our team and then hopefully on to bigger things. Im really excited to working with Dave C and the academy managers to see what the next few generations of players can do – if this seasons group are anything to go by then we are in for a good few years.

“Fingers crossed the first team can get that FA Women’s Championship place – it would go to show what hard work and dedication can deliver and not just because you are associated to a “big name” premiership club because all of a sudden the women’s game is becoming more popular.”

Details for Derby County Ladies Foundation team Cup Finals can be found below and all support is welcome. If you are interested in becoming part of the team, whether as a Player, Coach or Sponsor, please get in touch with the club via email on media@derbycountyladies.co.uk

Plate Cup Final – Sun 29th April @ Matlock Town FC – Kick-Off 11am

Derby County Ladies Foundation V Buxton Ladies

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Secondary Cup Final – Wed 9th May @ Matlock Town FC – Kick-Off -7:30pm

Derby County Ladies Foundation v TBC