Derby County Women U20s face a top-of-the-table clash against East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest at the Don Amott Arena this Sunday.
Manager Dan Dobrzycki is excited for the first meeting between the two unbeaten sides this season in a game that could be significant in deciding the outcome of the FAWNL Reserve Midland League this campaign.
This weekend’s East Midlands Derby will be held at Mickleover with the first team not in action and, while entry is free of charge, supporters will be encouraged to make use of the donation buckets to cover the costs of staging the game at the Don Amott Arena.
The development side usually play their home matches at Moor Farm Training Centre, and the clash with Forest will be the first time the U20s have played at Mickleover this campaign.
The young Ewes are in fine form and go into the game off the back of an 8-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers Belles last week, which saw Iesha Rollins net four goals in absence of top scorer Isabel Sheridan.
Derby’s league form, like their opponents, is almost perfect. Dobrzycki’s side have dropped points just once this season and have recorded eight straight wins.
The defensive record has been particularly impressive, conceding just six league goals and recording five consecutive clean sheets ahead of this weekend’s game against the division’s top scorers.
Speaking ahead of the crunch clash, Dobrzycki said: “These are the games you measure yourself against and I think the girls have alluded to having more competitive games and that's a good attitude from all the girls in the sense that it’s what they want.
“They want to be playing good sides and Forest are very good side. There'll be well organised, we know some of the girls being some of our former girls, they’re really good players and we’re looking forward to the challenge.
“It would be nice to get some people down there, any Derby-Forest game’s a big game for people so the more supporters that we can get down there, the better.”
The returning pair of Rosie Hunt and Bella Mauro, who both featured for the first time this season last weekend, have added further depth to an already deep squad.
Dobrzycki says recent performances have given him extra food for thought ahead of team selection for Sunday’s game.
“Massive headache and it’s the headache we want,” he said. “To actually just to make the 16 is going to be a massive achievement for some of the girls so to be honest.
“At the minute it's impossible to pick between them so there's a lot to be done in training in terms of getting themselves in the game for next week.
“Knowing them they'll give me something else to think about, I'm sure.”
Kick-off on Sunday is at 2pm.