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The Butting Ram

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Derby boss, Lear, declared that his team are ready and raring to go after a decent pre-season, which saw them go unbeaten in the Jet Cup.  The squad has been trimmed and a few new faces arrived during the lull in football and all have integrated well in training.  The first team squad are currently on a team bonding trip in Scotland but the manager has stayed behind to finalise a few things before the season gets underway next week, leaving his backroom staff in charge of the team while they are away and having full trust in their abilities to keep the players in check.  The squad will return on Wednesday afternoon, having a day off on Thursday before some thorough training sessions on Friday and Saturday, although Saturday will mainly be focused around tactics and individual responsibilities.

The fans are also looking forward to Sundays game, which will be Derby's first game in the FMFA League and whilst no targets have been set there is optimism around the club.

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The players have returned from their mini-break fully refreshed and raring to go.  They have been in good spirits during recent training sessions, putting in hard work, implementing tactics that have been created by the coaching staff and making sure that everybody gets included.  It is expected that the pre-season workouts, Jet Cup, training camps and recovery will have a direct benefit on the players ahead of the opening fixture of the season and with both fans and press being allowed in to yesterdays session, the belief is that Derby are extremely happy with how the team is progressing.  There is depth and competition in every position with a blend of youth and experience throughout that have had the press trying to anticipate the teams best eleven, although none of them have the same lineup suggesting that the squad is very well balanced.


The Derbyshire Gazzette has suggested that the lineup would be Roos, Keogh, Anita, Wisdom, Johnson, Shelvey, Defour, Fleck, Martin, Wagner, Sabitzer in a 4-3-3 formation.  There has been no comment from the club regarding this lineup although manager Lear is rumored not to have used a 4-3-3 formation before and after spending a fair few millions on bringing Peacock-Farrell to the club, some sources are suggesting that he may get the nod ahead of Roos in goal.


Either way the Derby fans are in buoyant mood and eagerly anticipating the start of the season.


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DERBY COUNTY 0-1 Norwich City


Derby County's start to FMFA league football hasn't gone to plan.

They opened with a home match against fellow newcomers Norwich City with manager Lear opting for a 4-1-3-2 formation.  The game was very entertaining but Norwich managed to get themselves in front early, Pukki scoring in the 13th minute, but the game continued to be very open.  Derby were reduced to 10 men in the second half, when defender Lowe collected his second yellow on 62 minutes, giving Derby a mountain to climb and it proved to much and Norwich were able to see out the game and leave Derby with all 3 points.

Pukki (Norwich) was MOM and young forward Sabitzer was Derby County's best player.


Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 DERBY COUNTY


A change in formation for the away trip to The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with Derby switching to 3 at the back for a game that looked difficult on paper, and so it proved.  Tottenham controlled most of the play with their passing football with Derby content to sit back at hit them on the break, although that rarely happened and Derby ended up defending for most of the game, although it did take the hosts 80 minutes to get the breakthrough when lone forward Arp scored with a delicious free-kick.  We rallied for a few minutes after going behind but Tottenham were never really in any trouble from our blunt attacks.

J_F_Arp (Tottenham) was MOM and Derby's best player was tenacious midfielder Shelvey.





The Academy staff have been given the brief of producing players that can make the step up to the senior team and although the brief is one of development, match results will still be expected.  With a few games played all at the club seem content despite a few losses and a few mishaps early on.


DERBY COUNTY U23 2-4 Manchester City U23 (Cup)


The first game of the season didn't start well when the management conspires to submit their team to the wrong officials which resulted in a hastily drawn up team sheet and the wrong tactics being employed.  Things got worse in the 28th minute when Wassall was dismissed for a professional foul after bringing down Ambrose when he was through one-on-one with the keeper but Nmecha smashed the resulting free-kick against the bar and from the resulting attack Derby managed to get themselves in front when Onyekuru showed good skill and strength to score. The lead only lasted for 5 minutes though when Nmecha made up for his earlier miss to equalise for City and 3 minutes later they were in front, Gonzalez scoring City's second.  Nmecha then scored a third for City before Ambrose scored a 4th from the spot after Nmecha had been fouled in the penalty box. Derby youth captain, defender Buchanan, pulled a goal back in the second minute of injury time to give the scoreline a more respective look.

Ambrose (Man City) was MOM and Derby youth's best player was forward Bennett.


DERBY COUNTY U23 1-0 Leicester City U23


Derby set up with 2 holding midfield players and one up front for the visit of Leicester.  Defender Hunt gave Derby the lead, against the run of play, in the 10th minute resulting in Derby immediately switching to a defensive mind set and playing on the counter.  The main result of this was that the game became laboured and Leicester found it hard to make any headway past the resolute Derby defence and despite a few minor scares Derby were able to see the game out and get the win.  Leicester probably had the edge on possession and chances and will consider themselves unlucky not get anything from the game.

Hunt (Derby) was MOM and Leicester's best player was Uche.


Aston Villa U23 1-0 DERBY COUNTY U23


Derby decided to play 2 up front in a bid to score goals but it proved the wrong decision.  Villa dominated possession and were a constant threat to the Derby goal, especially MOM Walker who ran the Derby players ragged and it was no surprise when he scored in the 57th minute, avoiding two tackles and then shooting through keeper Barnes' legs.  Derby huffed and puffed but never created a clear cut chance and indeed it was Villa that looked the more likely to score, as it was though no further goals emerged and Villa took the 3 points.

Walker (Aston Villa) was MOM and Derby's best player was defedner McDonald.


Manchester City U23s 0-0 DERBY COUNTY U23s (Cup)


This was a case of City doing just enough to win the tie.  The most noticeable events were an Ambrose disallowed goal in the 21st minute, which nobody is sure of the reason, and the dismissal of City midfielder Wood for a two footed lunge on Bennett in the 37th minute.  Derby's lowly 1 shot on target was never going to be enough to turn round a 4-2 defecit with City controlling the game the way they wanted to and confirming their progress into the next round.

Diaz (Man City) was MOM and Derby's best player was Hunt.


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