Derby County Football Club Women’s General Manager Duncan Gibb has decided to call time on his association with the club after what he described as an “incredible” 10 years at the helm.
Joining the club at the start of the 2013/14 season as its then Chairman, Gibb led on an ambitious six-part plan aimed at putting into place foundations for the club to grow and develop on and off the pitch.
The plan included putting in place a new management structure, raising awareness of the club in the city and within the Derby County supporter base, stadium relocation and building a sponsorship portfolio.
Having driven that plan, and at a point where Derby County Women are to be formally integrated into Derby County Football Club, Gibb said he felt the time was right to step aside and enjoy watching the “next leg” of its journey.
“It’s been an incredible experience and over the years, working with some brilliant people, we have enjoyed some good success stories on and off the pitch,” he said.
“In the early days there was an awful lot of door knocking in terms of securing both media and sponsor interest; however we worked hard to grow the profile and the revenue streams to a position where the club finds itself now, with the first team consistently performing well in the National League Premier Division North and a strong talent pathway of young players that will serve it well in the future.”
He said highlights of his time included winning the FA Club of the Year twice, 2015 and 2018, securing a formal tenure at Mickleover FC as part of the Community Interest Company that oversees the facility, and a record gate in the recent home game against Nottingham Forest, which drew 5,243 spectators to Pride Park in March.
Gibb believes that the integration into Derby County Football Club, which saw the recent opening of a dedicated women’s hub at the Moor Farm training centre, will help see the women’s game continue to grow and improve.
He said: “The relationship with the main club and building towards this point has in some ways been the easiest part of the journey and in recent times Derby have demonstrated their dedication to the women’s club by increasing their support in terms of facility use and profile.
"Now we have a permanent footprint there, with the opening of the hub, while Derby County owner David Clowes rarely misses a home game.
“Those things are tangible, bode well for the future, and I look forward to watching and enjoying the next leg of the clubs progress.”
First Team manager Sam Griffiths said: “I’d personally like to thank Duncan for everything he has done for me, he gave me my first job in management after playing for the club and for this I will be forever grateful.
"When Duncan first came into the club it was in a totally different place to where it is now and this is all down to his hard work and determination.
“Due to the time and effort he has put in over the years, the club is in the best place it’s ever been.”
Sheila Rollinson, Club Secretary and co-founder, said: “It’s hard to find the words to describe the impact that Duncan has had on Derby County Football Club Women.
"DCFCW has become bigger and better than ever, with more teams – all with commercial partners – playing at better facilities and to a higher, more professional standard.
“He’s done a brilliant job and I wish him all the best for the future.”