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Derby County Women’s development side will look to continue their good run of form this weekend!

The young Ewes have made a fine unbeaten start to their Reserve Midland Division campaign and currently sit second in the table after winning four of their opening five matches.

This included last weekend’s 5-2 victory over Stoke City which saw striker Eleanor Humphrey score for the second successive game.

Humphrey, who has started all six matches in all competitions this season, has reflected on the positive start to the campaign and says the whole squad have been key in attributing what her own upturn in form has been down to.

She said: “I think our team is just starting to click again with the U20s. I think we’ve started gelling together really well.

“We’ll look to keep going from last week against Stoke and put in some more good performances.

“My teammates have been setting me up well and we’ve been playing a lot better together. Being more in possession and a different formation has helped, it’s given me a bit more space at the top.”

Humphrey, a new arrival this summer, originates from New Zealand and also has experience of playing in the United States.

As to be expected, getting up to speed with playing in England has been a challenge, but one that Humphrey believes she is relishing and is enjoying the stylistic change.

“It’s been really good,” she said. “It’s definitely a different game. A bit of getting used to but I think I’m finally getting there and getting used to the different sort of game over here.

“I think I just need to keep going, really. I’m trying to hit some form and get into my stride.”

Long-term aspirations of breaking through beyond the development side is something Humphrey is keen to make progress on. Settling into the current squad has been the priority, though, with consistency being one aspect of her game she is fully focused on.

“I think that would be the end goal, maybe next season,” she said of potentially jumping into the Derby County first team. “This season I’m really trying to get back into some form after being away in all sorts of different countries.

“I just want to stay in some good form for the whole season and get some more goals.”

The 20-year-old is one of a number of scholars in partnership with the University of Derby, and balances playing for the Ewes alongside the university’s football team.

On Wednesday, she netted a 26-minute hat-trick in a side that also features Derby County teammates Alex Harding and Lucy Copeland, in addition to first-team defender and Welsh youth international Ella Hilliard.

Humphrey admitted that playing alongside familiar faces for both teams has been key in helping her settle into new surroundings.

She said: “They’ve been really good, they’ve been like a second family over here. They’ve been awesome for both the university and Derby County. They’ve helped me a lot.”

Harding, Copeland and Hilliard were also all on target for the university. The New Zealander was pleased for all her counterparts with a proud smile when mentioned.

She said: “I’m stoked for them. I think it’s cool because we’re together a bit with the scholar system and doing our course together.

“We spend a lot of time together with all the training that we do. It was really nice to see them get some goals, I’m really happy for them.”

Stourbridge, who have lost all four league games so far this season, are the visitors to Moor Farm on Sunday with a 2pm kick-off.

By Kallum Brisset, UOD, Football Journalist


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