Derby County Football Club Women

Transition has challenged U11’s but Progress Made says Coach Majka

The transition from 7-a-side to 9-a-side football has been a challenge for the Under 11’s this season but as the team prepare to come out of lockdown, Coach John Majka is confident that the girls have overcome the challenge and that an exciting 2nd half of the season is in store.

We spoke with Derby County Women Academy Director Dave Cholerton who gives an overview of the U11’s side this season before Majka reflects on the season so far and looks at area’s for development having reviewed the season to date.

Cholerton said “The Under 11’s have made the transition from 7 to 9 a-side football in the Derbyshire league. At first there were areas for developments but now, despite playing a year up, the girls are really finding their feet.

“It’s hoped that now they have got used to the bigger pitches, the development of technical skills will continue to give John and his side the opportunity to succeed. Challenges are expected but the way the have overcome them and come out the other side shows the tenacity of this side.”


Though results are ultimately the end product as you enter into senior football, Coach Majka believes the focus on the club’s ethos will ensure that his side as they grow into youth football will have a better chance of reaching the highest ranks within the club.

Majka said “The girls have reacted well to playing competitive football.  Primarily it has focused them regards to the effort and attitude they give in training as well as matches.  

“They know that results are important in terms of being in a league.  But saying that we are not driven by getting good results but instead playing football that keeps to our philosophy and the reward from that is a positive performances and results.

“Initially they found the transition to 9 a-side a challenge particularly with playing on a larger pitch. Last season they could run from halfway to the opposition goal numerous times whereas this season  one or two longer runs would leave them worn out.  The change in format has been a leveller for all the teams in our league.

“I’ve been pleased with how well they have adapted and overcome most challenges this season.  They have overcome the challenge of the bigger pitches by utilising the extra space when in possession and by passing more they can use their runs more effectively. 

“Their communication skills in particular were becoming more evident and this is something we will look to develop more when we return to football this week and we cannot wait to get back out on the pitch and continue that development.”