Derby County Football Club Women

Learning the ‘DCFCW Way’ has come quickly says U18s Boss.

We continue our look across the Derby County Women Academy and focus on our Under 18’s who have joined the established in the Central Warwickshire Girls League.

We spoke with Derby County Women Academy Director Dave Cholerton who gives an overview of the U18’s this season before speaking to Head Coach Kiran Savage, looking back at the season to date and talk progress and what is to come.


Playing in an Under 18’s League as tough as the Central Warwickshire League was never going to be easy but to do it with a side predominantly made up of Under 17’s and having the start they have had, has shown that they are looking to take that next step into adult football.

Academy Director Dave Cholerton believes that learning how to take that next step up is key and that they have responded well to the challenges set so far this season.

Cholerton said “The u18 have had a very good start to the season with new manager Kiran Savage. The team is predominantly made up of u17 players who are keen to understand and learn what it takes to become a senior player at a competitive level.

“They are responding well which is pleasing as they are now the third team in our player pathway. Development is key and we are also trying to give the girls a senior level experience.”

Picking up on these thoughts new Manager Kiran Savage says it has been a whirlwind 12 months but being on the same learning curve as the players has helped development all around.

“It’s been a whirlwind turnaround after joining as a goalkeeper coach last year.  From working with the girls during lockdown to having a new start during pre season, it’s been a pleasure to be apart of.

“This year was always going to be a big learning curve for the group especially playing in a year group above. The synergy between the 20s and 18s has been excellent so far this season.

“Working closely with Dan, we’ve been able to bounce ideas off each other in training and also work closely to ensure consistency is there across each age group.

“For the players, it’s vital they understand there is a pathway to the first team. With the 20s now being the second team in the pathway, it’s great for my team to have the opportunity to progress and head closer to that first team experience in the future.”

Already there have been personal highlights for the Under 18’s both in results and development of what is known as playing the DCFCW way and Kiran has seen that that style already.

“Beating Leicester and West Brom who are going to be two of the top contenders in the league this year was fantastic. We were able restrict their quality attacking threat whilst also playing the way we have done all season.

“Something that stands out the most from these games and makes me really proud was the girls ability to stick to the tactics we had worked hard on in training the week before.

“I would say the highlight for me so far has been the way the girls have responded to a new playing style that we have tried to implement this season.

“The football we are playing is excellent to watch and it is also producing brilliant results in a very tough league.

“The support from the parents and the academy so far this season has been amazing and I hope we can continue this great run of form.”