Jan 7, 2009
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Derby County Team Guide 2012/2013


Pride Park – sitting at the fourth biggest stadium in the league, there is not much chance of getting a new ground any time soon. You will fill the stands almost every game. If you get promoted the board will normally expand a stand and increase the capacity by roughly 3000.

Training Facilities – top training facilities at the club, possibly the best in the league.

Youth Facilities – again, a very good youth training system, also has a Youth Academy, expect a few good quality players to rise through the ranks.

Start of season expectations
Mid-table finish - 250k
Top Half – 300k
Promotion – 350k

The current Derby squad is more than capable of getting promotion within the first season. If you want to play it safe, go with the top half finish.

Squad Overview
Frank Fielding
Adam Legzdins
Saul Deeney
Mats Morch

Frank Fielding – Your number one for the next 4 or 5 years. Already on contract until 2014, but tie him down for longer if you can.

Adam Legzdins – A decent number 2, although he will fetch about 500k should you choose to warrant improvement elsewhere within the team. He will tend to get fed up of sitting on the bench though. I would recommend moving him on and reap the hefty transfer fee he will get you.
Saul Deeney – A keeper who has kind of fell through the gaps at Derby, never really given a chance. Too old now to improve any further and should be made available for transfer

Mats Morch – A good youngster to keep around as third choice for a year or two, will never really develop into a first choice keeper for anyone higher than league 1.

Recommended Signings –
Jamal Blackman (Chelsea) 150k

Centre Backs

Shaun Barker
Richard Keogh
Mark O’Brien
Jake Buxton
Tom Naylor
Valentin Gjokaj
Josh Lelan

Shaun Barker – The club captain, however injured for the best part of a season and a half. Contracted till 2015, aged 29, well capable of playing at a top level till 32-33. Keep him at the club, will make a good tutor for the likes of Gjokaj and Lelan (will cover these later).

Richard Keogh – Stand-in captain for Barker, almost an identical player, all be it a bit younger. Able to hold his own in the Premiership when you get there also. Also able to play across the whole back line if needed making him an excellent utility player

Mark O’Brien – Unfortunately for this lad, he will play second fiddle to Barker and Keogh for a few seasons. He will be able to cover for Barker for the season that he is injured, and you should look to give him as much game time as possible as he will turn into a seasoned veteran for Derby for 4+ seasons. Worth giving him some tuition by Keogh and Barker.

Jake Buxton – A bit of a weird one, I have found him to be very inconsistent, he is built like a tank. However, starts the game transfer listed and at the prime age of a defender, he can fetch around 500-700k which should be snatched at if you get the offer. Choosing to keep him will reduce the game time your youngsters will get. But, if you like your defenders to be ‘wall-like’, this guy will serve you well.

Tom Naylor – I have never used this guy, always either sold him or loaned him out, due to already having more than sufficient cover for the positions he can play. If you can get anything over 150k for him, let him go, will not get any game time unless your whole squad comes down with the plague.

Valentin Gjokaj – One of the promising youngsters which Derby have, if given enough game time and the right training, this guy can develop into a regular starter for Derby in the premier league. He already has some pretty decent physical stats as would be expected for an 18 year old. I would recommend keeping him for at least 4 seasons.
Josh Lelan – A decent central defender, probably won’t get as much game time as any of the above, and should be loaned out for a season or two to develop, but can still turn out to be pretty decent.
Recommended Signings - none

John Brayford
Kieron Freeman
Gareth Roberts

John Brayford – Arguably the best player in Derby’s squad at this moment in time, definitely the best right back in the league and will become the first name on the team sheet for the foreseeable future. Can cover for Centrebacks but shouldn’t be needed. Tie him down onto a long term contract when his starts to run down. Be prepared for bids in the region of £10-13 million for him once he starts to churn out the performances.

Kieron Freeman – snapped up from local rivals Nottingham Forest in the summer, this young lad can develop into a fairly decent fullback. If you edge towards youth for your teams, then Freeman should be played over Gareth Roberts (see below) as getting a full season under his belt will do wonders for his development. Probably not cut for anything more than a bottom half/mid-table premier league team once reaching full potential, but still a decent back up.

Gareth Roberts – He’s been a good servant to Derby over the past few seasons, however this is probably his last. Already aged 35 and with already declining stats, he should definitely moved on at the end of the season. Can still hold down a first team place for this season however. Should be used to tutor Freeman. You could probably get about 100k for him if you wish to move him on straight away though.

Recommended signings -
Matthew Bates – (free transfer)
Ryan McLaughlin – (Liverpool) 100k

Defensive Midfielders

James O’Connor
James Bailey

James O’Connor – an excellent utility player to have around, able to play across the whole backline and defensive midfielder. Worth keeping around once you get promoted purely for this reason.

James Bailey – mediocrity at its best, James had a stunning 2 seasons at Derby after making the step up from league 2 but seems to have lost his way a little bit. If you plan on using a formation with a defensive midfielder, then you will need to reinforce this position as I do not recommend him at all. Should be moved on as soon as possible. You can probably get about 200k for him. If you do choose to keep him around, he should be used as cover at most, as he can play in the backline also.

Recommended signings –
Scott Wotton (Man Utd) – Loan
James Wallace (Tranmere) 400k

Centre Midfielders/Attacking Midfielders

Craig Bryson
Paul Coutts
Jeff Hendrick
Will Hughes
Ben Davies

Craig Bryson – a power house of a midfielder. Will be ever present for you providing he doesn’t suffer any major injuries. Should be played in the middle of the park and let him work his magic, plays best as a Deep Lying Playmaker but also equally as good as a ball-winning midfielder due to his high work rate and determination. You will not notice any change in performance either once making the step up to the top flight.

Paul Coutts – Virtually another Bryson, play him in the centre of the pitch and this guy will do wonders. Can also play fairly well on the right wing.

Jeff Hendrick – Jeff had an amazing season previously but due to the arrival of Coutts, unfortunately this season he won’t see as much game time. Keep him around though; he will still develop into a brilliant Box to box midfielder. Give him as much game time as possible and rotate properly with Coutts and you will soon have yourself another midfield power house.

Will Hughes – I am sure you are all well aware of this young lads skill and potential. He will light the Championship on fire when played in the Attacking Playmaker role. He is a player to build your team around. A future captain for the club also. Get Bryson and Coutts to offer tuition also. Although he is such a young age, he is more than capable of playing every game of the season and not suffer from burn out. Hughes is also able to make a good right winger also, but his more formidable position is the more central.

Ben Davies – A very good squad player to have around and also dead ball specialist. Has a rocket of a free kick in him and brilliant corner taker. Coming towards the end of his career however, worth keeping around for the last season of his contract to help with tutoring but can be moved on for 120k if needed.

Recommended signings - none

Jamie Ward
Michael Jacobs

Jamie Ward – Although Jamie can play upfront also, I have found his best position to be on the wing. He should be a key member of your team for years to come, very capable of getting you 20+ goals a season.

Micheal Jacobs – another young talent, which can develop into a fairly decent creative player. Probably could do with a loan out to another club to get some first team action though. Should be kept at the club for a few years as once reaching potential, he will be able to hold his own in the premier league if needed.

Recommended signings –
Anthony Knockaert (Leicester) - 300k

Conor Sammon
Theo Robinson
Nathan Tyson
Conor Doyle
Mason Bennett

Conor Sammon – a long term target of Derby who was finally brought in the summer. He can play pretty much every role as a striker but more favours the Target man role due to his sheer size and strength. He can fetch around 20+ goals a season too, possibly not premier league quality though.

Theo Robinson – Theo is a lightning quick forward, again capable of 20+ goals when played as a poacher upfront on his own. Although probably not premier league material, he makes for an excellent impact substitute to cause havoc upon tiring defenders legs.

Nathan Tyson – never really shown for Derby, I tend to move him on as quick as possible. Still a very quick player, but you will find he is injured more than he’s not. Can get about 500k-1 million for him if your lucky. He’s also on a fairly high wage for a player of his calibre.

Conor Doyle – another one that I never really use much. Never seems to set fireworks off. Get rid of him asap. At best, loan him out, but he should be nowhere near your first team.

Mason Bennett – here is where we start looking at a class player for the future. Although only 16, he can hold his own in the Championship, and should be given the game time also. I have had him capped by England on a number of occasions, well worth the time and effort to develop this lad. Can play equally as good on the right wing too.

Recommended signings –
Ademilson – (Sao Paulo) - 5.3 million. If you raise enough funds, you can pay for this over 5 years. (well worth it) and he will destroy the championship
Souleymane Coulibaly (Spurs) – Loan


Derby have a squad which is capable of playing a few formations. I tend to go with a 4-2-3-1 as this gives me opurtunities to play Will Hughes in his more favourable position. I recommend using Awesome AMC™ by Raikan007 (all credit of this goes to Raiken007)


You should not need to do a massive overhaul of the Derby squad. It is still a transition period for the club of reducing the wage bill and building for the future, but I have found a Derby save to be the most enjoyable experience yet on FM13. Some really class players with massive potential.

Please post any comments or questions, and I will try and answer them.

Hope you enjoyed the guide and it is of some use to someone out there.
Great guide - I was thinking of doing a Derby save and this gives a really good insight. Have you had any joy with Hoganson (sp?) the 17yo LB/AML or Lelan?

Also what are the finances like when you get promoted?
Thanks for the feed back, sorry I'm a bit late getting back to you.

Have you had any joy with Hoganson (sp?) the 17yo LB/AML or Lelan?

Hodganson doesn't normally progress for me, he can probably be a good backup for a year or two, but I wouldn't say he is anything above a mediocre championship level fullback

Lelan can on the other hand, turn into a pretty decent mid table premier league team's center half. Defo worth giving him game time and he wont ask for much on wages either.

Also what are the finances like when you get promoted?

If you can keep under your wage budget in the first season, you will normally get about £20-25 million transfer budget when you get promoted, and after that, if you can churn out a profit each month throughout the league year, you will get close to £35 million the season after. I was shocked to find this out, but it is true, and most people don't realize that Derby can quite quickly become one of the richest clubs in the country within a year or two.