Jan 7, 2009
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Derby County Team Guide


Pride Park – sitting at the third 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 – not the best youth training around, due to the clubs debt it is highly unlikely that you will be granted permission to improve these.

Start of season expectations
Mid-table finish - 150k
Top Half – 180k
Promotion – 200k
Title Challenger – 220k
Winner – 240k

With Derby’s current squad, promotion is probably the most realistic target, but obviously choose higher if you are more confident with the game. Promotion is more than possible though.

Squad Overview

Derby’s squad is currently going through a transition whether it be the reducing the average age in the squad or reducing the wage budget. You face a tough task in getting rid in a number of deadwood which is currently in the squad and bringing in fresh faces who can do the job who fit the bill


Stephen Bywater
Saul Deeny
Ross Atkins
James Severn

Bywater should be your #1 at least for the first season in charge, depending on what aims you set your self he may or may not be good enough for you in the second season. He does however appear to be quiet injury prone so a solid backup is needed as neither of the others are good enough in my opinion.

A possible replacement for Bywater is Fabián Carini, he is excellent for the championship and makes the transition from promotion to premier league easily as well.

Another possible transfer is Frank Fielding, Derby had him on loan near the end of last year and can easily be back up Bywater or provide him with competition with a spot between the sticks.

Left/right backs - Wing-backs

John Brayford
Gareth Roberts
Dean Moxey

John Brayford – average player, will be able to cope at this level with no problems, a replacement will be needed should you get promoted though.

Gareth Roberts - although this fella is ageing, he is still a very good addition to Derby’s back line, still capable of playing the vast majority of games and is very consistent in his performances. Possibly his last season at this level though; he will be one you should look to offload as you get closer to the end of the season

Dean Moxey – not a fan of him. Keep him for your first season, offload in the summer if you can, there will be much better prospects capable of doing a much better job than him

Recommended transfers

Kyle Walker Loan
-Would be a welcome face to the squad, will provide competition for places as well as great pace down the wings.

Centre Backs

Shaun Barker
Russell Anderson
Jake Buxton
Dean Leacock
Miles Addison

Shaun Barker - is extremely consistent. Will play almost 100% of games across the season and is an excellent choice for squad captain. Tie this guy down on a long term contract as soon as you can as a lot of top teams come in for him

Russell Anderson - not a huge fan of this guy. I normally cash in on him as quick as I can, already passed his best playing days and you can certainly tell with his physical attributes. You can normally get 100k-200k for him as well.

Jake Buxton - deadwood. Sell this guy as soon as possible. Will very rarely get a game, barely good enough for this level and should not be on you keep around long for very long at all.

Dean Leacock - a great squad player to have around, can play anywhere across the back line as well as making a good defensive midfielder if needed too. A couple of other championship teams come sniffing, if you can get anything over £300k cash in and bring in someone else but as said above, he’s a good one to keep around for at least 1 season.

Miles Addison - although injured until around Christmas, he will easily become a key player for you the first season and for the next couple of seasons. Excellent mental and physical attributes, makes for a great centre half.

Recommended transfers


Russell Anderson – 100k-200k
Jake Buxton – [take anything you can get]


Jay DeMerit Free
Although he is ageing as well, he still has alot to offer, will still be able to play 30+ games a season, has a good few years left in him.

Defensive Midfielder

Robbie Savage
James Bailey

Robbie Savage - the one and only. The man himself. Despite what people say he can still be a key player for you for one more season. Playing him in a role which does not need him to run around a lot will work wonders; he is able to get a fair few goals a season from free kicks. Competition will need to be brought in order to cope with his incapability to play too many games.

James Bailey - a decent enough player, good enough for the championship but should not be part of your long term plans. He is definitely needed with Savage’s tiring legs though and should be rotated accordingly.

Recommended Transfers

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas Loan
will provide cover for both Savage and Bailey, not to mention cover for a number of other positions across the pitch.

Central Midfielder

Paul Green
Ben Pringle

Paul Green – will be a key member of your team for a couple seasons if you choose to stick with him. Can play in various other roles, he does seem to be at his best the centre of the field. Easily suitable for the “Playmaker Role” within the team. Would recommend you give him a new contract at the start of the season to ward off prying eyes.

Ben Pringle – another player which you should offload asap. If you are unable to sell him, loan him out, you wont need to play this guy at all.

Recommended Transfers

None – depending on your formation, there shouldn’t be too many transfers in this portion of the team, there is more than enough cover from other players across the squad.

Attacking Midfielder

Kris Commons
Stephen Pearson
David Martin
Tomasz Cywka

Kris Commons – The best player at the club. He will score 30+ goals a season and will mirror that in assists if played correctly (winger). Tie him down on a long term contract as soon as you get the job. A lot of Premiership teams come sniffing around. He will make the step up from promotion with no problems at all as well.

Stephen Pearson – Unfortunately this guy is only a back up to Commons which is quite sad as his stats are very good. However its recommended that you sell him in January once he recovers from his injury in order to free up funds.

David Martin – Another player who is also back up to Commons, I don’t rate him as much as I do Pearson. You should be able to get roughly £150k-200k for him, so sell when the price is right.

Tomasz Cywka – A great prospect, favour him towards the right wing rather than anywhere else, he never fails to get 20+ assists a season as well as bagging a goal or two when you need one. Not far off being ready for the Premier League as well. Give him time and the right training and he will become an even better player.

Recommended Transfers


Stephen Pearson ~£200k in January
David Martin ~£200k


Gaël Kakuta Loan
-Will provide excellent cover all across the midfield, but mainly brought in to rotate with Cywka if needed.


Conor Doyle
Alberto Bueno

Conor Doyle – can become a very good player if given time and the right tutoring. Its up to you whether you keep him at the club to provide cover for this position or loan him out to a lower league team in order to get first team experience. If you decide to keep him at the club, make sure he is tutored by someone like Kris Commons. His Technical attributes will need alot of work in order for him to reach top level. Alternatively you could cash in on him early on (he is valued at £750k) so you might be able to get about £500k for him to open up funds for other players.

Alberto Bueno – not far behind Commons in being the best player at the club. Play him as a Poacher / Advanced forward and he will get 30+ goals a season. Unfortunately Valladolid will want about £6-7 million if you want him permanently. Luckily you have him for the season, so make sure you take advantage of this.

TIP: I’ve found if you “kiss up” to Antonio Gomez (manager of Valladolid) across the course of the season, you can sometimes get him for considerably less

Recommended Transfers


Leigh Griffiths ~£300k
You all know about him, you all know how he rips up the championship for fun, he will create a flourishing partnership with Bueno if you choose to play with two up top.

Federico Macheda Loan
If you can persuade him to join, he’ll be a great asset across the season. You may have to wait till January after you’ve buttered him up and praised his *** off. This will pay off for future seasons too if you manage to get on good terms with him since you can always bring him on loan next season as well.


Goals Galore 2011 – thanks to koflok
I’ve had much success with using this for the first few seasons.

Thank you for reading my Derby County team guide.

Any comments/feed back will be welcomed and I will take it all on board and make changes where needed.

Good Guide mate, do you have any recommended staff signings as such?
just giving it a try now, I took your advice on signing demerit, fielding on loan, walker on loan and sold everyone you suggested.

Other signings: Dabo (free), seamus coleman (loan), Julio Cruz (free), Selim Benachour (free), Daniel Pacheco (loan).

Very much a fan of Steven Davies and Miles Addison, too bad they're injured long term.

Great guide anyway, I've used it as a starting point, though my tactics differ a lot (prefer always to create my own).

Not convinced by Alberto Bueno as a lone striker due to his low strength, definitely the best player but feels he needs a strike partner. Question to the OP, why poacher or advanced forward? He seems to be born for the trequartista role - Have you tried this with any success?
Started a game unemployed and Derby County came knocking.

One of my favourite games to date, started bottom of the league when I took over and got them promoted from the Play Offs in the same first season.

Bueno was an absolute force, sadly couldn't afford him in second season so got Wickham from Ipswich as I always look to develop youth. Barker has been a revelation and a lot of top clubs have came knocking but hes a dedicated professional and stuck with me.

Currently 12th in my first season in the Premier League and undefeated in the last 6 games having had a poor start.
I don't know what I've been doing wrong but Bueno must be one of the most frustrating players I've managed in history of CM/FM. Wonderfully gifted, can single-handedly rip defences apart but woeful finisher hitting his shots wide or straight into goalkeepers' arms. Played in almost every game of season and scored 4 goals so far (5 matches to go). Missed about 100 CCC's. Won't be missed when he goes back to Spain after season.