Amy Sims has been confirmed as Derby County Women’s new team captain for the 2023/24 season.

Long-serving Sims, who was the side’s leading goalscorer in the 2022/23 campaign, has been handed the role by manager Sam Griffiths.

She shared the Golden Boot award with Millie Ravening of Burnley with 18 goals in the league and Sims’ performances over the course of the campaign, netting 19 goals in 26 matches in all competitions, also saw her named in the Northern Premier League Team of the Season.

Sims, who is 24, has recorded 131 appearances for the club and scored 34 goals, while also holding the record of being the first Derby County Women player to score at Pride Park Stadium in 2018 in a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

Hannah Ward, the longest serving member of the squad, will take on the role of club captain to ensure her leadership skills and experience, after recording almost 300 appearances for the club, continue to play a prominent role.

Sims wore the captain’s armband when Ward wasn’t in the side during the 2022/23 season as vice-captain and being handed the role on a permeant basis was, according to Griffiths, a natural move.

Griffiths said: “We’ve spoken with Hannah and Amy individually about their roles for next season.

“For Hannah, she’s taking on an exciting role as club captain and we’ve discussed what that entails and also what her playing time will look like for the season. I think it is a role that will really suit her and we’ll support her in it.

“Amy was the vice-captain anyway, so it was natural to name her as the captain. Her performances last year spoke for themselves and she’s a Derby girl through-and-through; she will give it her all.

“She is a leader on the pitch with the way she plays. She is probably not the most vocal, but it is not always about that, it is about setting an example and leading in the right way.

“In both Hannah and Amy, I believe we’ve got two great leaders to take us into the new season.”

Sims said: “Sam told me the news and I couldn’t contain my excitement. The smile on my face said it all!

“It was a massive boost personally that she has the confidence in me to make me the captain and it was a really proud moment.”

She added: “If I am honest, it is probably the most excited I’ve been going into a season.

“There’s a lot happening around us at the club, as well as other teams in the league, and I think it’ll be the toughest year to date. But with the changes happening here, it’s so exciting and hopefully we’ll be right up there in the league.”