Derby County were represented by Oakwood Junior School at the Premier League Primary Stars Under-11 National Girls Football Tournament 2024 qualifiers hosted at Moor Farm Training Ground this afternoon, in a bid to claim their place at the 2024 finals.

Ten regional tournaments will be staged at community facilities across the country, with hundreds of young people representing Premier League, EFL and National League clubs hoping to win the opportunity to play on a Premier League pitch, in the playing kit of their respective professional football club.

Last year, more than 14,500 girls took part in the regional events. Goldstone Primary School, representing Brighton and Hove Albion, are the current champions having won the tournament in 2023 at Elland Road.

The National Girls Football Tournament is one of the competition elements of the Premier League Primary Stars programme. Launched in 2017 and available to every primary school in England and Wales, Premier League Primary Stars uses the appeal of football to help children to be active and develop essential life skills.

Premier League Charitable Fund Chief Executive, Ruth Shaw OBE, said: “The Premier League Primary Stars Under-11 National Girls Football Tournament creates an amazing opportunity for girls from across England and Wales to come together and represent their professional football clubs, as part of the Premier League’s commitment to supporting the game.

“Last season, more than 14,500 girls took part in Premier League Primary Stars. These regional tournaments help to inspire even more girls across the country to enjoy the many benefits of football and bring young people from diverse backgrounds together.”

Derby County joined nine other girls’ teams from across the Midlands at the Premier League Primary Stars Under-11 National Girls Football Tournament qualifiers hosted at Moor Farm.

Jack Southwart, PE and Schools Lead at Derby County Community Trust, said: “It’s been fantastic to host the regional round of the Premier League Primary Stars Under-11 Girls tournament at Moor Farm, especially on International Women’s Day.

“There’s been some great football on display today, alongside opportunities for the teams to take part in workshops, seeing the Premier League trophy, and ask their questions to two of the Derby County first team players.”

Women’s first-team players Emily Joyce and Charlotte Steggles were also on-hand at the regional tournament to motivate and encourage the teams throughout the event. Players’ mental health and wellbeing will be supported through a series of workshops and off the pitch activities, including social media sessions and journaling activities designed to encourage participants to talk about their emotions.

After a full afternoon of games, the Derby County team finished as runners-up.

Currently, 104 professional football clubs from across the leagues run in-classroom Premier League Primary Stars sessions in local partner schools. More than 68,000 teachers have signed up to access free online national curriculum-linked resources, to date.

The programme provides teachers and parents with downloadable resources across a range of curriculum subjects at Key Stage 1 (age 5-7) and Key Stage 2 (age 7-11), developed by teachers for teachers, and in collaboration with experts such as the National Literacy Trust and the PSHE Association.

The total Premier League investment into Premier League Primary Stars to date is £61.9million, shared to club charity organisations via the Premier League Charitable Fund.

For more information, please visit Premier League Primary Stars.