PARTNERSHIPS HOLD KEY TO SUCCESS, FOLLOWING FA INVITE TO WSL PROMOTION MEETING
As Derby County Ladies FC head into this weekends last 16 league cup tie away to Chester Le Street, club Chief Executive, Duncan Gibb feels that the next few months will be pivotal in terms of the clubs short and long term direction of travel, on the back of them receiving an invite from the FA to meet with them at St George's Park later this month.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss potential promotion to the prestigious Women's Super League and on the back of it the club will then be asked to make a formal submission to the FA by February, within which they will need to identify a number of key relationships and the associated support from these.
" It has taken the club 25 years to rise from the 9th tier to the top end of the Women's Premier League and we are closer now than we have ever been to joining the games elite within the WSL. We are the current FA Premier League Club of the Year holders and appear to have once again been shortlisted for this years award. On top of that we believe that we have one of the best on and off the field structures in place outside of the WSL. The fact that the FA visited us in the close season as part of a national club best practice report that they are undertaking, would suggest that the games administrators are also of that view.
Within any submission that we make, we will be asked to highlight the support that we receive and relationships that we have with a number of parties, including Derby University, Derby City Council, the Derbyshire FA and of course the main club. As part of that process we will be looking to sit down with each of these parties over the next couple of months and identify any areas of mutual benefit that will enhance the submission.
Promotion to the Women's Super League would not only benefit the Derby County brand, it would have a significant positive impact on both the city of Derby and county of Derbyshire. Tens of thousands of females throughout the city and wider county would be inspired by seeing their local women's side featured each week on the likes if Sky, BT Sports and the BBC, as well as within the national media on an almost daily basis. In addition to that football fans in general from across the region would be afforded the opportunity to see the very best players in the country on their doorstep.
There's a lot of good work already taking place with these partners and it goes without saying that a submission bid carrying the full weight of the city will be well received by the FA. Obviously we talk to people within the game and within the FA and the strength of their key partnerships is critical in terms of any club with ambitions of wishing to enter the WSL. Therefore this will in effect need to be a city bid as opposed to a club one.
In terms of matters on the field, having defeated fellow Premier League side, Stoke City in the last round, Ewe Rams face a long trip to League One, Chester Le Street for a place in the quarter finals of the WPL League Cup. According to Manager, John Bennett, whilst the game represents something of a banana skin, it is one that he feels his side should avoid.
" Chester Le Street have built themselves something of a reputation as a cup side, having either defeated or severely tested a number of higher league sides over the past few seasons. We are carrying a few injuries, some of which are long term, however there is enough depth in the squad for us to field a very competitive side. The players are still hurting after last weeks agonizing late defeat at Middlesbrough, however it's been a while since the club enjoyed success in this competition and a place in the quarter finals would certainly go a long way to putting the Boro game to bed "