The 2019/20 season is edging ever closer and Derby County’s players are due to report back for pre-season training at the beginning of July.
Derby have five games, in addition to plenty of training sessions, packed into their pre-season programme as they gear up for the new season.
With pre-season around the corner, dcfc.co.uk has produced condensed version of what is ahead of the Rams leading up to the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Frank Lampard’s players will report back for pre-season training, to begin their preparations for 2019/20 season in earnest, on Monday 1st July.
They will take in a few days of training at the Training Centre in partnership with the University of Derby to get back into the swing of things before heading to America for a ten-day training camp later in the week.
The Rams will be based in Sarasota, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and it certainly won’t be a relaxing time for the squad with plenty of intense training sessions planned throughout their time in the United States.
There’s also no doubt that the trip will also serve as the perfect way to help maintain the impressive unity and camaraderie within the squad, which was evident last season as Derby overcame several challenges to reach the Play-Off Final.
Back In Action…
Derby’s training camp in Florida will also see the side take in two pre-season friendly fixtures and return to match action.
They will face United Soccer League side Sarasota Metropolis on Wednesday 10th July (kick-off time to be confirmed) in their first friendly of the summer.
Sarasota, who are managed by former Italy international Massimo Marazzina, currently play in USL League Two, with 2019 being the Blue Dragons’ inaugural season.
The Rams will also take on fellow Championship outfit Bristol City, who will also be in Florida as part of their pre-season preparations, on Saturday 13th July (kick-off time to be confirmed) before returning to the UK.
Managed by one-time Derby loanee Lee Johnson, City will be looking to maintain their progress under the 38-year-old after they narrowly out on a play-off place last season at the Rams’ expense.
Derby’s last meeting with the Robins came towards the end of April, with Tom Lawrence and Jayden Bogle scoring in a 2-0 victory at Ashton Gate in a crucial victory in the race to finish in the play-offs.
Following the clash with Bristol City in Florida, Derby’s squad will return home to continue the build-up to the new season on British soil.
After a full week back in training, the Rams will make the short journey across the A38 to take on Sky Bet League 1 side Burton Albion on Saturday 20th July (3pm kick-off) at the Pirelli Stadium, with the two sides competing to lift the Bass Charity Vase on the day.
Under the management of former Derby boss Nigel Clough, the Brewers finished ninth in the third-tier last season.
The Bass Charity Vase was founded in Burton in 1889 as a football competition to be competed for annually by major teams, particularly Football League clubs, with proceeds from the games donated mainly to medical-related and hospital charities.
Other past winners include Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Coventry City, Derby County, Leicester City, Liverpool, Notts County, Nottingham Forest, Stoke City, Burton Albion and West Bromwich Albion.
The Bass Charity Vase celebrated its centenary in 1989 when, with extra efforts and additional events, over £25,000 was donated to charities. The charity continues to support good causes every year and Derby last lifted the Vase in 2010.
The short journey to Burton Albion will then be followed by Derby’s only pre-season friendly fixture of the summer on home turf.
Spanish Segunda División outfit Girona will visit Pride Park Stadium on Thursday 25th July (7:45pm kick-off) in what will be the side’s penultimate pre-season fixture of the summer.
Girona were relegated from the Spanish top-flight last season, alongside Rayo Vallecano and Huesca, after finishing in 18th place and four points adrift of safety.
They will be looking to return to La Liga at the first time of asking under new manager Juan Carlos Unzué and if they can retain the services of Cristhian Stuani, who scored 41 goals in 67 games during the last two seasons, they will be in with a shout of an immediate return.
City Football Group, a holding company that administers association football clubs under the ownership of Abu Dhabi United Group, owns 44.3% of Girona.
Also under the City Football Group umbrella are the likes of Premier League champions Manchester City, New York City, Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos, Club Atlético Torque and Sichuan Jiuniu.
Derby’s final pre-season friendly will see them head north of the border to take on Scottish giants Rangers.
A mouth-watering clash between the two clubs will take place at Ibrox Stadium on Sunday 28th July (3pm kick-off).
The game will serve as the perfect final test for Lampard’s players to put themselves in the frame to be named in the starting line-up on the opening day of the season and beyond.
The trip to Ibrox will also see Rams striker Martyn Waghorn face his former club. He netted 44 goals in 78 appearances for Rangers over the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons, including 28 in their promotion back to the Scottish Premiership in his first year at the club.
Rangers, managed by former Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard, finished second in the Scottish top-flight last season.
Last season was Gerrard’s first in management and although they were unable to lift a major trophy, they did inflict two defeats on Champions and rivals Celtic at Ibrox during the campaign.
The Gers have won more league titles and trebles than any other club in the world, winning the league title 54 times, the Scottish Cup 33 times and the Scottish League Cup 27 times, and achieving the treble of all three in the same season seven times.
The two clubs last met in a pre-season friendly back in 2014, with striker Chris Martin at the double for the Rams in a 2-0 victory at Pride Park Stadium.