Derby County Ladies Football Club

‘Game Changer’ Gibb Hails University Partnership

Derby County Ladies Chief Executive hailed the partnership with Derby University, that will see 3 women’s footballers offered full 3-year scholarships, as a ‘Game Changer’ for the club.

The unique partnership will see 3 students per year, for the next three years earn a full scholarship on the University led Football Journalism course and Gibb is hopeful that it will attract a good standard of player.

“The partnership with the University is fantastic news for the club and we have enjoyed a really strong bond with the University and are delighted to have secured this great opportunity for all parties involved.

“We are hopeful that we will attract a good selection of quality women football players that will see an opportunity for them to earn a career in football journalism after their career has finished, but also continue their journey with both Derby County Ladies and the University football team. 

“To get your fee’s paid for the whole 3-year course is something that is unprecedented in women’s football and will appeal to a lot of good players and we hope to attract some WSL standard players that will see this as too good to pass up.”

The scholarships could see up-to 9 players join Derby County Ladies in the next 3 years and Manager John Bennett knows that it will be important for the right players to join his squad and integrate with his team but feels that his current group of players will be most welcoming.

Bennett said “These scholarships are the next step for the football club and to partner with the University is a great opportunity for us and we hope that the players that apply will see an opportunity to progress with a career but also as a footballer with us here at Derby.

“I’ve said it plenty of times but this group of players are a special bunch and they have an amazing character and togetherness and we know that these three players will be welcomed into the side and will settle quickly because the group will embrace them. 

“We like to play football the right way on the pitch and off the pitch, I don’t know a better group of people all pulling in the same direction and to get another major partnership off the ground with more to come, shows that as a club, outside of the WSL, we must be one of, if not thee outstanding club in the Women’s Premier League.”

Having announced the deal for the training ground with Merrill Academy earlier in the season, this partnership with the University is the second major partnership with two more set to be announced in the coming weeks and Gibb is excited about the future.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved in women’s football and even more if you are with Derby County Ladies. We’ve worked really hard with the University on this project and we thank Pete Lansley and his team for the opportunity to work with them and we are excited for the future. 

“This is the second partnership of four that we have announced and we are looking to announce the other two over the Christmas period or just after but it sets us up nicely for the changing landscape in women’s football and the possible move to Tier two in the football pyramid.”

To apply for the scholarships, please send your Football CV to