The First Team

This page lets you have your own view on the players at Derby County.

Give your opinions on the first team in the comment box below and all will be available to read at the bottom of the page. A select few will be added to the main page, as long as you include your name (does not have to include surname).


1. Lee Camp – The keeper is still young and is currently in the England Under 21 set up. He’s had his ups and downs at Derby and looks pretty certain to leave the club in the not too distant future.

He had a few loans spells when he was younger, but the one that bought him into the Derby team was the one he had with QPR in which he helped them secure promotion to the Championship. They tried to sign him permanantly in the summer and the QPR fans rate him highly.

He stayed at Derby and quickly replaced Lee Grant as number 1 at Derby and had a fantastic season where he established himself as number one and helped Derby turn from relegation candidates to promotion chasers. Derby faced Preston in the play offs, and he made a blunder and never seemed to recover since then.

The season after Phil Brown took over, and infamously dropped him from the side which resulted in Lee Camp’s dad ringing Radio Derby to rant about the then Derby manager. Phil Brown left and Camp was given his place back until the end of the season by caretaker and his former academy manager Terry Westley.

In the summer of 2006 new manager Billy Davies gave both young goalkeepers Camp and Grant a few games to impress. The new manager still signed another ‘keeper in Stephen Bywater from West Ham.

Camp was shipped out to Norwich City for three months and was 3rd choice at Derby. It took Camp until his last month at Norwich to make his first appearance. Although impressing the Norwich manager Peter Grant he scored an own goal on his debut and was sent back to Derby with Norwich signing another keeper it looked as though he wasn’t wanted at Norwich either.

He has since joined his former manager John Gregory at QPR on loan in what seems somewhat of a Derby County reunion.


2. Marc Edworthy – Marc was bought in by Phil Brown in 2005 and was one of his first signings as Derby manager. Marc Edworthy has had a fairly successful career. His most recent success was winning promotion with Norwich.

Marc had a slow start as a Derby player and many people believed that he might just of been slightly too old and the three year contract he was given was a poor decision by then then Derby manager Phil Brown. He has had a career of being Mr Reliable though, and he wasn’t about to let his reputation go.

The new Derby manager Billy Davies come in and Edworthy has managed to hold down a first team place at Derby and has retained his tag with a number of solid displays. Steady Edy is now starting to get forward a lot more often and helping out with the teams winger and the contract given to him in 2005 is starting to be justified.

3. Mo Camara – Mo joined Derby from Celtic soon after the Rams had a bid rejected from Celtic for their midfielder Stephen Pearson, who has also since joined Derby. Allegedly people believe that Mo was sold to Derby as a sort of sorry after Gordon Strachan had changed his mind numerous times about whether to sell or keep Stephen Pearson. If that is the case it seems Gordon has got one over on Billy.

Camara is unpredictable, he can have a very good game or have a shocker, most the time the latter. Personally he adds a comedy value to the team, but the comedy would turn into frustration if the team is performing poorly. His passing of a ball is terrible, he could volley a ball at about 50mph to a player 5 yards from him or pass it straight past him as if he had double vision.

His crossing can be poor, he floats crosses 50 yards in the air rather than a nicely whipped cross around head height. His left foot oddly seems weaker than his right though. When crossing with his right foot, it can sometimes be a peach of a cross nice height and pace to worry defenders.

It’s not only the opposition defenders he seems to scare though. He is sometimes caught out of position and needs a helping hand from one of his centre backs to cover him. He’s a fairly quick player who is capable of tracking back, although sometimes he doesn’t see the need to.

His best moment was against Norwich when a pacey break away was broken down when Camara hurried back to make a perfect tackle on Lee Croft.

4. James McEveley – ‘Jay’ has spent most of his fairly sort career at Blackburn. He spent loan spells at Gillingham, Burnley and Ipswich in the Championship. He looks like a solid left back who can also fit in at centre half, he could become a snip at 600k. His career at Derby so far has seen him play at left back and looks comfortable going forward and providing good quality crosses.

More will be added when more is learnt about the new signing James McEveley.

5. Dean Leacock – ‘Deano’ is arguably Billy Davies’ best signing for Derby to date. The former Fulham player was one of Davies’ pre-season signings for 375k. Not much was known about the player, apart from the fact he had a loan spell at Coventry two seasons before and he looked a bit like rapper ‘XZibit’.

The Derby fans will admit they didn’t expect much from the player, who some now think he could be the best defender we’ve had since Igor Stimac. When he made his debut for Derby, not many thought he would be up to scratch and after four or five games he didn’t look fit to wear the shirt. Many where left scratching there heads over the signing.

Dean is much more of a ‘modern’ type of defender we see playing now-a-days, he has a lot more skill on the ball than the old fashioned types that give you a quick kick and hoof the ball wherever.

He is now in line for player of the season, and at 22 he looks like he could have a bright future in the game.


6. Michael Johnson – ‘Jonno’ was signed by George Burley from Birmingham in 2003 and produced solid performances at the back for Derby and eventually helped steer the club clear of relegation in his first season at Derby.

He’s the sort of defender who will put in 110% and put his neck on the line for the good of the team. He won’t hide away when the team is losing and often does a lot of PR work. Whatever he lacks in height for a defender, but what he lacks in height he makes up in commitment. In his second season at Derby he was a key figure in the promotion campaign and was one of the most reliable and used central defender used in the team.

Billy Davies’ made him club captain at the start of his tenure, which means he has helped with the press work. Although he now, in my opinion is starting to loose his legs or game he is still a good character to have at the club.


7. David Jones – Jonah has quickly impressed Derby fans with his technique and set piece ability. He joined Derby initially on loan until January 2007, and soon completed his permanent switch from Manchester United for a fee of £1.1m.

Jones has also got the ability to take stunning set pieces and shown his quality when scoring a beautiful free kick in the nervy last minute against Sheffield Wednesday in January 2007. With the score locked at 0-0 the pressure was on but he stepped up to score a brilliant goal.

Jones also is a left footed player, something that is quite rare. Especially if you’re looking for player with his quality. Billy Davies’, the man who signed him on loan for Preston and now at Derby, believes he could even go on to play for England one day. Jones has the option to play for either England or Wales, and has been asked to join both countries for ‘get togethers’ but has turned both down to concentrate on his club football until he establishes himself.



8. Morten Bisgaard – Morten arrived on a free transfer at the start of George Burley’s play-off season. He come to Derby with an international pedigree, being capped by Denmark 8 times. His previous club, Copenhagen had played in the Champions League and Bisgaard had plenty of experience to help get Derby out of the division.

Morten is one of a few ‘marmite’ players at the club. You either love him or you hate him. He plays off confidence and it’s been shown in the contrast of success at the club over the seasons he has been here.

In George Burley’s play off team he played with quick feet and a bit of flair to get the fans off there feet. He thrived from the teams confidence and attacking style. In Phil Brown’s season as manager, he had a good start when Derby where high flying. But when Grzegorz Rasiak left the club and the team stalled he struggled to get into games and was scoring on a less frequent basis.



9.Steve Howard – ‘Der, der, der, der. Stevie Howard’ quickly became a fans favourite at Pride Park since his move from Luton in 2006. With him being in his 30’s, many people thought that £1m was over priced, how wrong they where.

Many teams where trying to sign the big striker, but Derby won the race over other teams such as Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday. They believed the price was too much, but have been proved wrong with a number of vital goals, work-rate and commitment.

He started his career in Non league with Tow Law, after being released by Newcastle as a youngster. Steve has gradually climbed up the leagues and now faces his biggest challenge at Derby. To help them to the Premiership.

10.Craig Fagan – Craig Fagan joined Derby from Hull City in January for an initial fee of £750k. The additional money will depend on whether Derby achieve promotion to the Premiership. Many feel that the fee is over the odds, Fagan was out of contract at the end of the season and Derby would of then been able to get the player on a free transfer.

So far Fagan hasn’t impressed, although his time at Derby as been very short at the moment and the fans need to give the player more time to settle in and improve.

He started his career at Birmingham before moving onto Colchester, then Hull. Being at Derby is a big step up for him and it’s his biggest move and club he as joined.

He has quick feet and flair that is able to confuse defenders. He is able to play either on the wing or up front, although Billy Davies’ so far has used him as a wide player.



11.Paul Peschisolido – ‘Peschi’ quickly made himself a Derby hero after scoring the famous ‘coffee cup’ goal against our big rivals F*rest in the 4-2 thrashing.

He has the ability to come on in games and steal a late goal and change the game. He niggles at defenders and his small build doesn’t hinder him when tussling with a big defender.

Paul has played for 8 English clubs during his career and has been a fans favourite at whichever club he has been at. He scores important goals and his commitment for the cause is second to non.

Although his career is coming to an end, everyone will remember Paul Peschisolido for many years to come.



12.Jon Macken – Jon Macken began his career at Old Trafford with Manchester United, but before making a first team appearance he moved to Preston North End, in which he made his name.

After scoring around the average of one goal in every 3 games for Preston he had a big money move to Manchester City, who paid £5m for his services. Injuries, a lack of form and fitness saw his career stall and was moved onto Crystal Palace.

After his second unsuccessful move, he went to Ipswich on loan in 2006. He picked up a bit of form, scoring 3 goals in 14 games. Which was a improvement on 9 goals in 76 games over his periods at Manchester City and Crystal Palace.

He moved to Derby in 2007 on a free transfer and Billy Davies’ believes he can get back the form of a striker who has lost his way.



13.Lee Grant – ‘Granty’ has had a fairly harsh time as a player for Derby County, due to the quality of keepers that they have had at the club.

Many fans will have their own opinion on who should start at the club, and many will argue who is the better out of the two Lee’s, Camp or Grant.

Lee Grant was George Burley’s first choice at Derby until a successful loan for Lee Camp at QPR forced his way back in, and Grant has not been able to get back in the team since.

Billy Davies’ give both Camp and Grant their chances at the start of the season, and it seems that Grant is the preference over Camp for the number 2 spot.

Grant’s quality and commitment shown when he was still young. He turned down a contract from Chelsea to play for the Rams.Grant had spells out on loan at Burnley and Oldham Athletic during 2005/06 to help him develop. He was successful at Oldham, which he helped guide towards the play off places. But his loan at Burnley seemed pointless. Where he continued to sit on the bench.

14.Richard Jackson – ‘Jacko’ is current the clubs longest serving squad member, who has been at the club since 1999.

He joined from lower league side Scarborough for a small fee and has been a solid performer for the Rams in the 2nd tier.

He made his mark in 2002/2003 where he become a first team regular in George Burley’s relegation threatened side. He and the side improved, and his versatility to play either left or right back was valuable to a team that was weak in strength and dept.

He earned himself a new two-year contract in January 2006 and has continued to give his customary good service to the club. Although he looks to be on his way out at the end of the season.




15. Ryan Smith – Promising youngster Ryan Smith joined from Arsenal in 2007 for a fee under £1m.

Ryan normally plays on the left wing, but is able to go onto the right is needed. He is quick and has the ability to take on the opposition and put fear into them with ease.

Smith had a loan with Leicester in the 2005/2006 season and made his debut against Derby with a dazzling display. He later went onto play then Billy Davies’ Preston and Billy has admired him since.



16.Arturo Lupoli – ‘The Art’ has a sensational record in the reserves for Arsenal the season before joining the Rams on loan for the season in 2006.

He started his career at Parma, before moving to Arsenal after impressing on trial. At 19 he still had not managed to break into the Arsenal team before moving to Derby on loan. He has a lot of flair to confuse defenders, but also becomes a bit greedy in some games. Which doesn’t mix well with the workman like team Billy Davies’ has created.

His first league start for Derby, and in England came at Colchester, where he scored with two brilliant finishes. Thierry Henry of Arsenal once claimed that Lupoli was the best finisher at Arsenal at the time and he shown his qualities straight away.

Lupoli become the first player in just over ten years (1996-2007) to break the duck of a Rams player to score a hat trick.

17.Paul Boertien – ‘Boerts’ has been unlucky with injuries in the past few seasons, but if you name five players who will fight for the cause, Paul will probably be at the top of the list of most fans.

He always gives 100 percent and doesn’t back out of a tackle. The only down points of his game seem to be his lack of knowledge that there is a attacking half of the pitch.

Boertien joined the club in March 1999 from Carlisle United and made himself a fixture in the team with over 30 league and cup appearances in 2001/02, before adding another 45 the following season.

He had already been out on loan to Crewe Alexandra in 2000 and then spent a month at Notts County in 2004, before returning to Derby.

18. Seth Johnson – ‘Sethlad’ rejoined Derby from Leeds after a injury ravaged spell. Leeds chairman Ken Bates stated he would not play for the club again. This is because it would of triggered a claus which would mean a payment to Derby.

Seth is a fans favourite amongst Derby fans, with his tough tackling style. He joined Derby in 2001 from Crewe for £3m before moving to Leeds for £7m. Derby had made a shrewd move. The midfielder was plagued with injuries at Leeds and when he arrived back at Pride Park, Derby had made a nice profit and had the same player.

He was given a 1 year contract by then Derby manager Phil Brown to prove his fitness. He did and his contract was extended for another season to the Derby fans delight.

He scored the Rams’ first goal of 2006/07, in the 2-2 draw against Southampton.


20.Lee Holmes – ‘Holmesy’ made his first appearance for Derby while he was still at school at the age of 15 on boxing day 2002. That same season he also became the youngest-ever player to appear in the proper rounds of the FA Cup.

Holmes as since slipped away from the first team and as somewhat become a ‘forgotten man’. He has been on loan over the last couple of seasons and impressed at Swindon, enough for him to be given young player of the year at the club.

Holmes joined League 1 side Bradford City at the start of the season for a loan deal until the end of 2006. He failed to make as big an impression though and has since returned Derby.

21.Bob Malcolm – Bob Malcolm come to Pride Park after being released by Rangers in 2006.

He can play in a holding midfield position or a defensive position and had an impressive debut against Wolves at Molineux.

He got injured soon after and made his comeback early 2007 but failed to get back to the form seen in his debut.

22.Matt Oakley – The former Saints man was a surprise signing by Billy Davies’ and many fans where a little dissapointed when the signing was announced due to the big build up had created.

He joined Derby after rejecting Charlton and a offer of a contract extension at Southampton.

Matty seems to be another ‘marmite’ player. He does the things that you don’t normally notice on the pitch is what Billy Davies’ says to Oakley’s defence.

Oakley was made captain after his arrival and has scored two spectacular goals against Hull and WBA in his first season with the Rams.

23.Darren Moore – Daz arrived at Pride Park for 500k from WBA, and was one of Phil Brown’s last signings as Derby manager.

Many people believe his physical presence at the back had been what Derby had been lacking since Igor Stimac left in the Premiership days. Although he had a slow start and people thought he was ‘not up to it’, he has turned it around and is now forming a solid partnership with Dean Leacock at centre back.

At six feet two inches tall and weighing over 15 stone, Moore is an imposing figure at both ends of a football field and endeared himself to the Derby fans straight away.

Moore began at Torquay United before moving on to Doncaster Rovers, Bradford, Portsmouth and WBA in 2001, and has amassed almost 500 career appearances. His experience is vital and has helped young defender Dean Leacock in his first season at Derby.

24.Tyrone Mears – ‘Tye’ was signed on January 2007 deadline day until the end of the season to add strenght and dept to Derby’s defense.

Mears is a pacey defender, who Billy Davies’ guided into first team football when he was manager at Preston after signing him from Manchester City for £200k.

He signed for West Ham at the start of the 2007 season, but failed to get into the team following Alan Pardew’s sacking and made the loan move to Derby, which is set to be made permanent in the summer.

25.Stephen Pearson – Stephen joined Derby after a long battle to sign him from scottish club Celtic.

Bill worked with the midfielder during his days at Motherwell and tried to sign him in the summer, but after a long time of negotiating, Gordon Strachan pulled out of any deal.

Pearson can add goals from the midfield as well as plenty of quality on the ball and should prove to be an excellent £750k capture.

This season he has played and scored in the Champions League for Celtic and has previously been capped by Scotland.

27.Gary Teale – Teale is a typical right winger. Sticks to the line like glue, has pace and provides deadly crosses.

Teale arrived at Derby in January2007 and was somewhat a shock signing and cost £600k from then relegation threatened Wigan on a three and a half year deal.

Teale has been a big player in Wigan’s rise through the divisions to the Premiership, but felt a change of scene was needed so joined Billy Davies’ ever improving squad.

Teale arrived at the JJB Stadium with the Latics in the equivalent of what is now League 1 and quickly made himself a fans’ favourite with a number of outstanding performances.

He was instrumental as Wigan rose from the Second Division and then reached the Premiership for the first time in their history.

28.Giles Barnes – Giles Barnes is one of Derby’s hottest prospects to come through the youth ranks. He made his debut last season, and has really turn on the style in 2006/2007 with a number of sublime displays.

Having broken through during the previous campaign at the tender age of 17, the stage is set for one of the country’s most exciting young talents to show his worth.

He was handed his first senior start by then-caretaker boss Terry Westley, who had nurtured his development at Academy level, and repaid that faith with a performance that belied his years – against then arguably the division’s toughest midfield in the shape of Sheffield United.

He continued to grow in stature by the game with a series of energetic displays that will no doubt have caught the attentions of some of the country’s top teams.

Barnes, an England U18 and U19 international, put pen to paper on a new four-year deal just before the start of the 2006/07 season.

That sparked the teen ace into a run of strikes including a spectacular double to see off Barnsley, a diving header to clinch victory over West Bromwich Albion, and the winning goal at Leeds United in December to end a 32-year club wait for success at Elland Road.

29.Lionel Ainsworth- Lionel Ainsworth has yet to break into the first team at Derby. But has been on loan to Bournemouth in 2006, and some believe that he was better than Jermaine Defoe when he spent some loan time at the club.

His pace is electric and has plenty of energy to burn… watch this space.

30.Lewin Nyatanga – Lewin Nyatanga is a promising youngster and hopefully his spells out on loan at Sunderland and Barnsley will help him gain some strength that has been lacking from his game.

Nyatanga was Wales’ youngest ever player until the record was broken a few weeks later by Gareth Bale. Nyatanga is tall and has a good footballing brain, although he still lacks in strength and has been bullied out of games by more experienced strikers.

Lewin took home the Football League Championship Apprentice of the Year award at the inaugural Football League Awards ceremony in London.

He was named as Derby‘s Young Player of the Year at the end of a remarkable breakthrough campaign.

In October 2006, he was named as the Welsh Young Player of the Year after starring for club and country.

31.James Meredith – James has yet to break into the Derby team and ihas spent time on loan at Cambridge and Chesterfield in the 2006 /2007 season.

Meredith can play at either left back or left midfield and scored in a pre season friendly for the Rams in 2006.

32.Tom Cumberworth – Cumberworth comes from Derby’s youth academy and has been given a short term contract while he proves his fitness after a series of injuries.

35.Steven Cann – Cann is another of Derby’s keepers graduated from the youth team. Although he was born in South Africa, he is playing for the Welsh youth international team.

43.Stephen Bywater – Stephen Bywater arrived at Derby just in time to make his debut against Hull City in 2006.

After his slow start due to niggling injuries, Bywater has turned out to be one of Derby’s most consistent performers in the 2006/2007 season with a number of brilliant displays.

Bywater is a tall keeper with great reflexes. These have kept Derby in many matches and his self confidence and commandment of his area has reassured Derby’s backline.

At a price of only £375k Bywater seems to be one of Derby’s best bargain signings and arguably Derby’s best goalkeeper since Mart Poom in the late 90’s early 00’s.


One Response to “The First Team”

  1. Thornhill Says:

    Bywater is the best keeper since Poom! No doubt about it!

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