Derby County Ladies Football Club

Manager John Bennett to Step Down at End of the Season

First Team Manager, John Bennett has formally announced his intention to step down at the end of the season, as the club either secures a place within what is currently Women’s Super League 2 (WSL2), or looks to mount a promotion push from what is currently the Women’s Premier League (WPL).  

Bennett’s decision was not an easy one; however he feels that it is the right one for both the club and himself.

“I’ve been privileged to  be associated with the club for a number of years, having had a previously successful spell as first team manager. It’s fair to say that the whole dynamic of the club has changed significantly in the past few years in a really positive way, which has culminated recently in our senior group of players now training at  the Derby County Training Centre at Moor Farm.

“On the back of building those foundations, the clubs board are keen for things to be taken to the next level on the pitch from next season and with that will come increased commitment from both players and staff.

“For me that is absolutely the right way to go, and this is without question the most exciting period in the club’s nigh on 30 year history; however I’ve enjoyed an honest an transparent relationship with the clubs board from day one and it basically came down to ‘ this is absolutely the right way to go’ and the best way for the club to move forward is for their to be a change.

“As part of the WSL licence application process, clubs have to have a UEFA A Licence coach leading on the first team. Whilst I’m not qualified to that level, the club went the extra mile and discussed this with the FA. On the back of that they were prepared to potentially compromise the bid by retaining myself as manager and ticking that box by way of our current Director Of Football, Sam Griffiths.

This speaks volumes in terms of what the club are about and the way in which we do things; however I’ll always do what is right and this simply comes down to what I believe is best for Derby County Ladies at this current time with the game moving forward at such a pace now.”

Bennett will remain at the club until the end of the season and is keen for the club to finish on a high, whilst Griffiths works with him as she migrates from her current role as Director of Football to that of Head Coach.

“I enjoy an excellent relationship with Sam, who is a first class coach, and have every confidence that she will be successful regardless of which league the club plays in next season.

“We both felt that it was in both the club and Sam’s best interests if I remained in situ until end of the campaign, to allow her quality time to shape her thinking in terms of training scheduling, and to have conversations with both staff and players, without the added pressure of managing the remainder of our league campaign.

“We have five fixtures and fifteen points to play for and I’ll be doing all that I can to ensure that we maximise our return on those.”