Derby County Football Club Women

“We’ve got 90 minutes to get a result” Hannah Ward

Article written by University of Derby Football Journalism Student Megan Garbutt

Derby County Women play their first game since 13th December in an FA Cup second round tie against Loughborough Foxes WFC on Easter Sunday. Club captain Hannah Ward spoke to students at the University of Derby about the importance of the game for their season and training together again after such a long time out.

After four months out, Ward said,” everyone absolutely smashed it,” following the first training session that manager Sam Griffiths conducted on Tuesday ahead of the game. She also added: “Once we got the ball going it was like we’d never left.”

“For me personally, the best thing is that we’ve physically been able to see each other after not being around each other for four months,” said Ward ahead of their first game since before Christmas.

“We’re all quite realistic that it’s not going to be a free-flowing game,” said Ward regarding the upcoming fixture. “It will be more about grit and determination and at the end of the 90 minutes who’s going to want it more.”

The most recent meeting between the two teams happened on the first day of the season in a frustrating 3-3 draw for the Ewes and Ward said:” It’s been a long time since both teams have played so it will be interesting to see what level everyone is at.”

“In that game on the first day of the season, Lauren Nicholls was the player that stood out for them,” mentioned Ward when asked about what players they will be looking out for. “That would be a threat we would like to control.”

Ward played alongside Nicholls at Derby before she signed for Loughborough several years ago.

Ward went on to say, “historically it’s been around the fourth round that we get to and it’s only the second round on Sunday and we want to get as far as we can.”

“For us, it’s concentrating on our own game,” said the club captain. “We’ve got 90 minutes to get a result and if we lose, that’s the end of our season.”

If Derby were to lose, the question of when they will play again is still uncertain and so Ward very confidently said: “If that’s not motivation in itself then I don’t know what is.”

Follow tomorrow’s game on Twitter @DCFCWomen from 1pm with build-up and team news and then match action!