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Football and Education Side Complete Silverware Hattrick for the Young Ewes

Winners CEFA Cup Final

Derby County’s Football and Education Women’s side sealed victory over their contingents from Swindon Town to claim the national trophy in today’s EFL Community Education Football Alliance (CEFA) 2023/24 Cup Final.

Taking place at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium, the game kicked off at 11am and was supported by official EFL partner, Carabao UK.

The route to the final has seen both teams overcome tough competition from other teams including Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Burton Albion.

The opening half saw a well-matched game, with chances on either side of the park, the most notable coming in the final ten minutes as a wayward back pass from the Swindon defence almost put the Derby side on the scoresheet following a convincing corner.

The second half started in the same fashion, with both sides challenging at each end of the pitch. The decisive moment came in the 60th minute, as the Young Ewes were awarded a penalty following a heavy challenge in the area.

Number 8, Ella, stepped up to convert to the opening goal of the game, with a cool, low shot to the keeper’s right.

This was almost swiftly backed up by a second goal, but the long-range shot from beyond the 18-yard box was tipped out for a corner, where the following shot on target was saved by the Swindon keeper.

Possession firmly remained in Derby’s for the next ten minutes, with another powerful shot from the number 8 glancing across the face of the goal.

Despite Swindon breaking from the above shot, the threat came to nothing as the Derby defence saw out any threat without an approach on goal.

In the game’s final minutes of normal time, Swindon tried to put pressure on the Derby defence, but they remained resolute.

Five added minutes were played with neither side finding a goal-scoring opportunity, seeing the Ewes claim victory through the well-taken 60th minute penalty.

Ella Brennan was named Player of the Match, recognised for her spot-kick and pressuring the defence throughout.

The win rounds off an unbelievable season for the women’s teams at Derby County across the 2023/24 season. The Football and Education programme runs in tandem with the Female Talent Pathway, which in its inaugural season has seen both the Under 18s and Under 20s claim silverware too – the 18s in the Junior Premier League national cup final, and the 20s in the Derbyshire FA Cawarden County Cup.

Today’s captain, Eve Shepherd, was also part of the Women’s first-team who won the FA Women’s National League Plate just three weeks ago too. She is one of five Under 18s and 20s players from the Talent Pathway who have made their debut for the first-team this season.

The Football and Education programme and Female Talent Pathway will work in even closer partnership from next season, with the establishment of a specific offer for 16-21 year olds, which will combine the opportunity to play for the Young Ewes alongside studying for a wider range of post-16 and degree qualifications.

It will also increase the amount of training, strength and conditioning and analysis sessions available to younger players, to bridge the gap between youth and first-team provision.

Find out more about playing within Derby County’s Female Talent Pathway and Elite Programme here:

Elite Programme (16-21 year olds)






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