Derby County Football Club Women

Academy Director Looking Forward to Season Kick-Off

Derby County Women’s Academy Director Dave Cholerton has paid tribute to both the players and coaches ahead of the 2020/21 season that gets underway this weekend after months of uncertainty.

The Covid19 pandemic abruptly cut short the 2019/20 season and Cholerton is thankful that a lot of hard work over the last few months can start to be put aside and the Academy can get back to some sort of normality over the coming weeks.

Cholerton said “It’s been an unprecedented 6 months and I can’t begin to describe the range of emotions we’ve all felt during this time but I for one, am excited about getting back to action and hopefully getting into some kind of routine over the next few weeks.

“It’s not quite going to be exactly the same as previous seasons and there is a lot of things that we’ve had to put in place but I know the leagues and the Derbyshire FA have worked incredibly hard with all teams to get things up and running and I know I am thankful of everyone’s hard work to get the game on.

“Whilst it’s been tough for our squads and coaches, the hard work we’ve put in across the club needs acknowledging and in particular the work our Sheila (Club Secretery) has put in on getting players signed on, liaising with the leagues and also the many risk assessments and safety work we’ve had to put in place.

“Likewise, I’m very thankful to Stephen (Finance Director) and Dave (Operations Director) for their work in getting the kit and subscriptions in place and there flexibility on this, we’ve all had to pull together as a team and as usual, we’ve done that and I’m placing my thanks on record for everybodys help to get the season underway.”

That thanks also extends to the players and coaches who have continued to work behind the scenes initially during the lockdown situation and then getting back to training and action, something that Cholerton thought may have been further down the line.

“I must admit I wasn’t expecting us to get underway as soon as we are doing but I am certainly happy that we are doing so and this weekend is huge for everyone involved in grassroots football and now we need to do what we need to do so we don’t go back to a situation without football.

“Our players have been fantastic and have all taken the extra responsibility that has come with playing football this year and are keeping to the guidelines and that is not easy to do when your used to something so much different to how it is now.

“They’ve reacted really well to what the coaches have put on, firstly over Zoom whether that is just keeping communication lines going via quizzes or get togethers as well as fitness training. It shows how seriously the girls are about their football and it’s such a proud feeling and I’m very grateful to them.

“Our coaches have played a massive part in keeping them together and in contact too and since getting back to training, much of the onus has fallen on them to follow the guidelines and they have done things fantastically. When you can call on the coaches to step-up, I had no doubts that ours would be going above and beyond.

“Now, I hope the focus can return to action, starting this weekend for some but then over the next few weeks, all of our teams getting back to action. Hopefully it will feel fairly normal and we can start the season off successfully and pick up where we left off last season.”