Rams forge Dutch links
Derby have entered into a joint venture with FC Utrecht which will hopefully benefit both clubs.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 09/04/08 1:02pm
Derby have entered into a joint venture with Dutch side FC Utrecht which will hopefully benefit both clubs.
The partnership is intended to mirror Manchester United's long-standing relationship with Belgian club Royal Antwerp.
The Rams hope that the collaboration will allow coaches to compare styles and set-ups, as well as providing an opportunity for some of the club's youngsters to pick up valuable first-team experience on loan at Utrecht.
Derby's head scout Bill Green has led the initiative alongside club chairman Adam Pearson, and manager Paul Jewell feels that the pair have established a positive link for the future.
"The idea is to exchange ideas and there are lots of positives for both clubs," Jewell told the Derby Evening Telegraph.
"It is something Bill Green and Adam Pearson are moving forward and we are very keen to forge links.
"It's an education. We can look at different things - coaching styles, youth set-up and there may be a case of us loaning them one or two of our young players to give them experience, a bit like Manchester United do with Antwerp."
Following the promising news off the pitch, Jewell has also been handed a timely boost on the field with a trio of players set to return from injury against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Alan Stubbs has missed the Rams' last four games with a calf injury, but is back in contention for a first-team place ahead of the weekend clash at Pride Park.
"Alan is back in the reckoning and that is a big boost for us," said Jewell.
"He trained a few days last week but wasn't quite ready for the weekend (defeat at Everton) but he will kick on again this week."
Jewell is also optimistic that Stubbs' fellow defenders Dean Leacock and Darren Moore will be fit enough to figure against Villa, despite picking up knocks against the Toffees on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the news is less positive concerning Mile Sterjovski as the Australian midfielder looks set to be sidelined by the Achilles injury he sustained at Goodison Park.
"We are hoping Dean and Darren will be fit, but Mile will be touch and go," confirmed Jewell.