Teams: Derby County, Burton Albion
Time Called on Rams Reserves
Time called on Rams Reserves
By Steve Nicholson
Derby County have scrapped their reserve team on the eve of the new season.
They have defended the decision to withdraw from the Premier Reserve League, saying it is in the best interests of the club's young players, who could be asked to play about 70 games a season.
The Rams were due to kick off their campaign at Southampton tonight and have been fined £7,000 by the League for their stance.
Manager Phil Brown said the decision to pull out was not taken lightly.
"A number of our younger players like Lee Holmes, Giles Barnes, Lewin Nyatanga and Nathan Doyle have been involved in first-team, reserve, international and youth football, while being expected to follow full technical and educational programmes," he said.
"Some of these youngsters played more than 60 games last season and, as a result of the various demands on their time in respect of match preparation and travelling, we are concerned they may miss out on valuable technical coaching.
"We have a duty of care to these young players. Their welfare is of utmost importance for their development and the continued effectiveness of the academy structure."
Academy manager Terry Westley said a number of under-15 players turned out for the reserves last season and it not the best way to nurture young talent.
"Our view is that we wish to focus on providing the most appropriate grade of football for our academy lads rather than forcing them into the position of helping us fulfil reserve team fixtures," Westley added.
An FA Premier League spokesman said they understood the Rams' reasons but remain disappointed that they could not have made the decision earlier. He said: "We appreciate that now is better than when the season is underway and all the factors were taken into account when deciding the level of fine, which is £7,000,"
Rams director of football Murdo Mackay said the decision was not a reflection of the set up or standard of the Reserve League.
"We have the utmost respect for the competition, the decision was taken purely in the best interests of Derby County and our young players," said Mackay.
Derby's operations director, Paul Clouting, said there is an option to return to the Premier Reserve League next year.
"We recognise that a number of season ticket holders enjoy the opportunity to watch our reserves and we did take that into account when making this decision, but we feel the welfare of the young players is paramount."
Mick Derby (46), a lifelong Rams fan from Chaddesden, was a regular at Reserve team matches, both home and away.
He said: "I'm disappointed that the Reserves have resigned from what is a very competitive league but I support the manager in his decision because the number of matches being played was far too many."
Originally Posted by Nico
I dont belive in jinxing mate, I do belive in playing at home with a 2-0 advantage against a team which I cant see scoring 2 goals!
Of course, if we lose, I'll never admit it was me who wrote this.
Forest 2-5 Yeovil aet
Brian Clough - Legend!