Derby County Football Club Women (DCFCW) and the Derby County Community Trust Regional Talent Centre (DCCT RTC) are delighted to announce they have agreed a collaborative structure going forward as part of a #OneClub player pathway that will lead through to senior football with the Ewe Rams First Team.

The new pathway sees the introduction of an Under-20s DCFCW team and greater focus on player development to meet the ambitions of the both the Club and the Football Association in providing a structured, opportunity-led route to first team football.

Crucially, the collaboration will offer an exciting post-16 educational programme, offering unrivalled opportunities to learn and play. Details of the programme rollout will be announced soon.

The formal long-term agreement cements an initial successful partnership which sits in line with the Club’s ambition of keeping the best players in Derby and achieving Tier 2 Championship status, while focusing on a player-led approach that will see players operating at a level that best meets their development needs. Players will be able to move between the RTC and DCFCW teams.

Dave Cholerton, DCFCW Academy Director, said “Everyone involved in football at Derby, whether it’s the Club or the Trust, wants the best players remaining here and playing first team football for Derby County Women.

“The Academy has a really good relationship with the DCCT RTC and understanding of working together to develop players for the Derby County Women’s First Team. This new collaborative pathway formalises that relationship to the benefit of players, Club and RTC. It’s a very exciting time for everyone involved at DCFCW.

“Last season we saw an excellent transition of DCCT RTC U16 players moving across the Academy’s U18 Team, including 4 of the players making their debut for the Development Team.

“The Academy aims to meeting the individual needs of every player in the hope that the players will one day go and play for the first team. This partnership with the DCCT RTC can help us to achieve this goal.”

Kieron Wicks, Derby County Community Trust Education Manager, said: “The National RTC Programme is in place to develop and enhance opportunities for female players within the England National Squads and training camps. It is so crucial that on their individual football journeys they have clear development opportunities which match the needs of their age, football development and playing position.

“Having a pathway in place to develop each players’ growth and senior playing opportunities is vital. The platform for female players associated with Derby County will provide a firm guidance for senior club representation and national honours.”

The DCFCW Academy and the DCCT RTC are looking forward to returning to training when deemed safe with their players so that can prepare them for the forthcoming season and build on the success and player development.

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