Derby County’s Female Talent Pathway was established ahead of the 2023/24 season as an amalgamation between the Derby County Women’s Academy teams and the Community Trust’s Regional Talent Centre.

After its first full season, the success has been clear to see, with a host of achievements recorded across the age groups, which span from Under-10 to Under-20s level.

The Under-10s, Under-11s and Under-12s, who make up the Foundation Phase of the pathway, played mainly in against male teams in the Derby Junior Football League - with the Under-12s winning their league and the younger teams building their confidence in the friendly games.

The Under-13s also followed suit, winning their league and progressing all the way through to the semi-final of the national Junior Premier League Cup, where they were narrowly beaten by a strong Arsenal side.

The Under-14s, Under-15s and Under-16s all recorded some great results throughout the season, finishing in second and third place in their respective leagues.

The latter stage of the pathway, the Under-18s and Under-20s, have both enjoyed league and cup success - with the Under-18s bringing home the national Junior Premier League Cup, and the Under-20s signing off an undefeated season with a County Cup win in Alfreton last week.

Several players were also part of the winning Football and Education side, who were crowned EFL Community Education Football Alliance (CEFA) champions in a cup final against Swindon Town, played at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium this week.

The achievements of the teams were celebrated in a Presentation Evening at Pride Park Stadium on Thursday 9th May, where members of the Women’s first-team squad joined proceedings to present medals to each player, along with a trophy for the Player of the Season for each team.

The attendees were Club Captain Hannah Ward, Team Captain Amy Sims and fellow team-mates Emily Joyce, Charlotte Steggles, Anna Draper and Kira Rai.

Those winners were as follows:

Under-10s – Isabel

Under-11s – Suzie

Under-12s – Eva

Under-13s – Ffion

Under-14s – El

Under-15s – Olivia

Under-16s – Belle

Under-18s – Darcy

Under-20s and Longest Service – Sarah

Foundation Phase Outstanding Achievement – Brooke

Youth Development Phase Outstanding Achievement – Caitlyn

Professional Development Phase Outstanding Achievement – Eve and Molly

Emerging Talent Centre Rising Star – Mia

The evening rounded off an unbelievable season for the women’s teams at Derby County across the 2023/24 season.

Trials are now open for Under-9s to Under-16s for the upcoming 2024/25 season, which will take place throughout June.

There will also be the establishment of a specific offer for 16-21 year olds, which will combine the opportunity to play for the Young Ewes alongside studying for a wider range of post-16 and degree qualifications, increasing the amount of training, strength and conditioning and analysis sessions available to younger players, to bridge the gap between youth and first-team provision.

Find out more about playing within Derby County’s Female Talent Pathway and Elite Programme here: