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[FM19] Derby County - Director of Football Challenge

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Game date: 6 May 2021

WISDOM SNUBS DERBY

RamsFanzine: 27-year old centre-back, Andre Wisdom, who joined Derby County from Liverpool for £4M in the summer of 2017, looks set to leave the Rams when his contact expires at the end of the season. Wisdom continues to reject Director of Football Igor Stimac's contract offers.

Wolverhampton Wanderers remain the favourites to sign Wisdom should he become a free agent this summer.

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Game date: 7 May 2021

ANOTHER SEASON OF WAGGY

RamsFanzine: After the disappointment of Andre Wisdom's contract snub, Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac was delighted to announce that 31-year old forward Martyn Waghorn has extended his contract until the summer of 2022, with an option of a further year.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Sunday 9 May 2021

Pre-match v Arsenal (H) - Premier League (38)

Match Preview

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RamsFanzine: A win today against Arsenal will guarantee you 7th place and a possible EURO Cup place. In fact a draw will almost certainly see you finish above Leicester. Can you do it, given you've lost your last four games against Unai Emery's Arsenal?

Stuniverse: Well those sort of runs don't last forever. We've trained hard, are focused, and we're going to do our best to send our fans home smiling on the last day of what has been an amazing season for us.

Team Selection

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RamsFanzine: Two changes today.

Stuniverse: Yes. That's correct. Max Aarons is over his illness so he returns at right-back, I've pushed Jayden Bogle a little further forward and Mason Bennett, somewhat unfortunately, drops to the bench, but he understands the reasons why. Max Lowe is still young and learning so I've put him on the bench too, Kenedy will play left-back, and Tom Lawrence returns. It's good to be able to give Shinji Kagawa a place on the bench as well after his hamstring problem.

RamsFanzine: Are you hoping West Ham can do you a favour at Leicester?

Stuniverse: Look, we'd like to do it for ourselves, and that's what we'll be trying to do, but let's not fool ourselves, Arsenal are a very good team who've qualified for the European Champions League. It won't be an easy game for us so, yes please, if West Ham want to do us a favour this afternoon and help us out, you won't find anybody here complaining. 

Post-match: Derby County (1) 2-2 (0) Arsenal

RamsFanzine: Just how galling was it to concede an equaliser like that in the 5th minute of five added on minutes?

Stuniverse: Very. To be fair to Aubameyang though it was a sensational strike. My players deserved the win though, and I'm disappointed they don't have a victory against Arsenal to show for their efforts. I think we were the better team, and I believe the stats will back us up...

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RamsFanzine: And Emery. He's admitted you were the better team.

Stuniverse: Has he? That's very nice of Unai. He's right though. My players were magnificent today. Domingos Quina gave us the lead and Harry Wilson looked to have won it for us. Even though we drew, conceding a 95th minute equaliser like that, feels like a defeat.

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RamsFanzine: You've had an unbelievable season to be fair and you've finished 7th. Nobody saw that coming at the start of the season. Leicester beat West Ham 5-1 so you had to do it for yourselves, and you did. You've finished 7th and possible EURO Cup qualification. Incredibly, this is the third consecutive season where you've achieved something on the last day of the season on goal difference. Goal difference, again?

Stuniverse: Yeah [laughs]. Winning the Championship Title in my first season. Surviving relegation last season. Clinching 7th today. All on goal difference. Incredible.

Now we have to wait and see if Liverpool win the FA Cup against Wolves so we can claim our place in the EURO Cup.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 9 May 2021

CURTAIN COMES DOWN ON PREMIER LEAGUE 

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 9 May 2021

DERBY COUNTY RESULTS - 2020/21 SEASON

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Game date: 9 May 2021

RAMS PLAYER STATS - 2020/21 SEASON

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Fair play getting 7th place with that squad and only one decent centre back :D

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, @Haguey. I can’t believe it to be perfectly honest with you. Going into the final game I was fully expecting Leicester to beat West Ham (as they did, 5-1), but I wasn’t confident of getting anything out of the Arsenal match. But we did, a 2-2 draw, and were seconds away from a 2-1 victory. D’oh!

I’m buzzing though!

Come on you, 🐏s!

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 9 MAY 2021

DERBY COUNTY FINANCES

RamsFanzine: Derby County's financial reward for finishing 7th in the Premier League this season was £27.03 million.

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What an end to an unbelievable season! A great last day performance, shame about the late goal from Arsenal but a point was enough

 

Shame about Wisdom though, you might get one more chance to agree a contract before he goes on a free but definitely a huge summer ahead, will Igor be there??

 

And City won the league :):)  :)

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, dap1987 said:

What an end to an unbelievable season! A great last day performance, shame about the late goal from Arsenal but a point was enough

Shame about Wisdom though, you might get one more chance to agree a contract before he goes on a free but definitely a huge summer ahead, will Igor be there??

And City won the league :):)  :)

Thank you, @dap1987. As I said to @Haguey I really can’t believe it. I think I was fortunate that Chris Smalling and Andre Wisdom stayed injury free but, give Igor some credit, Pau Lopez in goal and Kenedy at left-back or left-wing were excellent.

For saying my coaching reports rate Wisdom as an average Championship player at best I think he had a brilliant season - a 7.03 from 42 appearances. Will he still be a Ram next season?

Will Igor still be our DoF?

Yes, Man City did the league and Carabao Cup double. Must check to see if they’re still in any European competitions.

Edited by Stuniverse

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I'm on tenterhooks waiting to see who wins the FA Cup.  Though if you get into the Europa League, Igor's going to need to make sure you have at least 3 CBs.  Let's hope he gets it right this summer.

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3 minutes ago, Tajerio said:

I'm on tenterhooks waiting to see who wins the FA Cup.  Though if you get into the Europa League, Igor's going to need to make sure you have at least 3 CBs.  Let's hope he gets it right this summer.

Thanks, @Tajerio. Me too. I hope you’re cheering for Liverpool 😀

If Wisdom leaves on a free we’ll enter the transfer window with one CB.

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Fantastic season! very well done. Have enjoyed reading about it.

let us know what happens in the FA Cup final! Here's to some interesting Thursday nights at Pride park. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, karanhsingh said:

Fantastic season! very well done. Have enjoyed reading about it.

let us know what happens in the FA Cup final! Here's to some interesting Thursday nights at Pride park. 

Thank you, @karanhsingh. I’ll update the thread as soon as the FA Cup Final has been played. In-game, Stuniverse is attending the final at Wembley.

Oh no. I hadn’t considered Thursday fixtures. I’ve had enough trouble with Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday fixtures as it is, and never knowing where I am this season.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 10 May 2021

DERBY COUNTY SEASON REVIEW - 2020/21

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Game date: 10 May 2021

IT'S HARRY WILSON ALL THE WAY!

Ramsfanzine: At the Derby County Annual End Of Season Awards, Harry Wilson, on loan from Liverpool, won both the Fans' Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season awards.

Shinji Kagawa's goal against West Ham United way back in September was voted Rams Goal of the Season.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 10 May 2021

MANAGER OF THE YEAR

RamsFanzine: Derby County's manager Stuniverse has won the English Premier Division Manager of the Year Award. When announced, a very modest Stuniverse said, "I am, of course, thrilled and honoured to win this award but it shouldn't be about me. It shouldn't be a Manager of the Year Award, it should be a Team of the Year Award. It was the players, not me, that scored the goals, passed the ball, won the tackles, made the saves and worked so hard to finish as high as we did this season. This award is reward for what my players have done, not for anything I've done."

Our sources at the club inform us that owner Mel Morris and the Board believe Stuniverse is doing an unbelievable job.

The Rams players , we're told, are delighted to have Stuniverse as their manager.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 10 May 2021

INITIAL RAMS BUDGETS SET

RamsFanzine: Sources at Derby County have informed us that owner Mel Morris has set the initial budgets Director of Football Igor Stimac will have to work with this season:

  • Wage Budget - approximately £900K per week
  •  Transfer Budget - £61.13M

Neither Morris, Stimac or manager Stuniverse were available for comment.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 12 May 2021

RAMS ACADEMY RETAIN CATEGORY ONE STATUS

RamsFanzine understand that the Derby County Academy have retained their Category One youth rating following a recent audit.

This achievement shouldn't be underestimated and is testament to the great work being done by Head of Youth Development Darren Wassall and his staff.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 15 May 2021

CONTRACTS EXTENDED FOR TRIO OF YOUNGSTERS

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac has activated automatic contract extensions until the summer of 2022 for young players Sebastian Nebyla (AMC/MC), Nathan Moore (DR) and Danny Barnett (AMLC).

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Game date: 17 May 2021

DERBY COUNTY COMMERCIAL SUMMARY

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 31 May 2021

RAMS SET TO LOSE SIX

RamsFanzine: As things stand at the moment, Derby County look set to lose six senior players from their squad, with loanees KendedyMason Mount and Harry Wilson due to return to their parent clubs, and the contracts of Andre WisdomGeorge Evans and Josh Grant all expire in a month's time.

Director of Football Igor Stimac is in contract discussions with Wisdom but the 28-year old centre-back has not put pen to paper and, with Wolves interested in signing the Jamaican international, sources inform us Stimac is not confident of keeping Wisdom at the club.

As far as we're aware, there have been no contract discussions with Evans or Grant.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 1 June 2021

DERBY RETURN FOR TOMORI

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac was delighted to announce the free agent signing of 23-year old Cheslea centre-back Fikayo Tomori. Tomoiri is no stranger to Pride Park, having played on loan under manager Stuniverse when the Rams won the Championship in the 2018/19 season, making 29 appearances, scoring two goals and one assist. 

Tomori will join the Rams on 1st July when his Chelsea contract expires, and will be contracted to Derby County until the summer of 2024.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Tomori looks like his development stalled out a little since your Championship-winning season, but he's young enough to grow some more.  I assume you added him as a target because of the Derby connection--or did Igor have a brain wave?

Also, if I were you I'd be tempted to shift some of the transfer budget over to the wage budget.  I don't know if Igor can spend £60m in the transfer market while not also smashing past £900k/pw for the whole team's wages. 

Edited by Tajerio

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Tajerio said:

Tomori looks like his development stalled out a little since your Championship-winning season, but he's young enough to grow some more.  I assume you added him as a target because of the Derby connection--or did Igor have a brain wave?

Also, if I were you I'd be tempted to shift some of the transfer budget over to the wage budget.  I don't know if Igor can spend £60m in the transfer market while not also smashing past £900k/pw for the whole team's wages. 

@Tajerio, yes, you're right. I added Tomori as a transfer target around the time that I updated this thread about the players with a Rams connection who could play CB. Tomori was the only player I added as a transfer target.

Igor took his time about it, (and I thought he was never going to make a move), but he finally made contact with Tomori's agent and got a deal done.

I admit it may have been a bit sentimental of me. Tomori was outstanding in-real life for the Rams this season.

Even then, Igor still had to make the deal and get it done. I had my scouts look at Tomori and they don't think he's as good as Wisdom (but better than Evans and Grant, this seasons back-ups) so I'm gambling on him being young, like you say, and still having time to develop.

As for the budgets, great minds think alike, I've already adjusted them to give Igor around £200K wages to work with. I will keep my eye on them.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 4 July 2021

STUNIVERSE WANTED ON THE CONTINENT

RamsFanzine understand that German Bundesliga side Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Spanish La Liga club Atletico Madrid are interested in talking to Derby County manager Stuniverse about their managerial vacancies.

In the past, Stuniverse has declined interviews with other English clubs Leicester City and Newcastle United, but could a job on foreign soil tempt him?

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 5 June 2021

STIMAC SET TO STAY

RamsFanzine: Derby County owner Mel Morris has confirmed that Director of Football Igor Stimac has signed a new contract that runs until the summer of 2024.

This deal ends speculation that Stimac was looking to leave the Rams to take a manager's job at another club.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 10 June 2021

WOLVES HUNT LAWRENCE

RamsFanzine understand that Wolves are keen to sign Derby County's 27-year old attacking winger and have tabled a bid. It's being reported that Director of Football Igor Stimac has rejected a Wolves bid of £14.75M (rising to £16.5M). It remains to be seen if Wolves will return with an increased bid.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 10 June 2021

MARRIOTT WANTED BY BAGGIES

RamsFanzine: For the second time today, Drector of Football Igor Stimac has rejected a bid for a Rams player.

West Bromwich Albion are understood to have lodged a £10.25M bid (rising to £12.75M) for 26-year old striker Jack Marriott.

Stimac has rejected the offer and will be hoping West Brom do not come back with a higher bid for the Rams top goal scorer.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 12 June 2021

BALLO JOINS RAMS U23s

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac confirmed the signing of 19-year old attacking midfielder Thierno Ballo from Chelsea, on a contract until the summer of 2022. Ballo was out of contact at Chelsea and Stimac wasted no time signing-up the Austrian teenager.

Ballo was granted an U23 work permit to allow the deal to go through so he won't be able to play for the Rams first team for the duration of his contract, but can play for the Rams U23s and / or be loaned out to clubs in lower divisions.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 15 June 2021

MONACO ACCEPT DERBY BID FOR TOLOI

RamsFanzine: Derby County are chasing AS Monaco centre-back Rafael Toloi and we understand a bid of £6.5M has been accepted for the 30-year old Brazilian, who also holds an Italian passport.

The deal to bring Toloi to Pride Park is far from done and dusted as Monaco have also accepted a bid from LOSC Lille and French journalists tell us Toloi would rather stay in France, than move to England.

According to club sources, Stimac is determined to get this deal over the line after his failed attempts to sign centre-backs Medhi Benatia and Aissa Mandi in the last transfer window.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 16 June 2021

DERBY TO FACE ALBANIAN OR ISRAELI OPPOSITION

RamsFanzine: The draw for the Euro Cup Best Placed 2nd Qualifying Round was made today and Derby County will face either Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Be'er-Sheva or Albanian side KS Flamurtari Vlore.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 18 June 2021

DERBY MISS OUT ON CENTRE-BACK

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac's bad luck with centre-backs continues as the Rams miss out on Chelsea's 19-year old defender Dynel Simeu

The 19-year old Cameroonian's contract with Chelsea expires at the end of the month and the Rams believed they had a deal to bring Simeu in on trial, with a view to a permanent signing if the trial was successful.

Stimac's plans were thwarted though when Southampton offered Simeu a permanent contract.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 18 June 2021

DERBY COUNTY'S PRE-SEASON FIXTURES CONFIRMED

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 18 June 2021

DERBY COUNTY - BOARD EXPECTATIONS 2021/22 SEASON

  • Premier League - Mid-table
  • EURO Cup - Reach Group Stage
  • FA Cup - Reach 5th Round
  • Carabao Cup - Reach 4th Round

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First off congrats on winning manager of the year! Only a top notch manager could turn Igor's project into a team playing in Continental football. I thought about suggesting going after Toromi but I didn't think he quite had the stats, although to be fair he should be a decent back up for you. Igor finally got his CB, while he's on the older side I think you'll get a solid 2 years from him and Smalling. It's almost better to play in the play in games by the end of the window you should be one of the best teams in the pool, as long as you play minnows the team should be smashing them leading to a nice confidence boost before the Premier League starts. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, JaytheGreat said:

First off congrats on winning manager of the year! Only a top notch manager could turn Igor's project into a team playing in Continental football. I thought about suggesting going after Toromi but I didn't think he quite had the stats, although to be fair he should be a decent back up for you. Igor finally got his CB, while he's on the older side I think you'll get a solid 2 years from him and Smalling. It's almost better to play in the play in games by the end of the window you should be one of the best teams in the pool, as long as you play minnows the team should be smashing them leading to a nice confidence boost before the Premier League starts. 

Thanks @JaytheGreat. I don't know about 'top notch' but thank you.

Seeing how the EURO Cup fixtures have been scheduled for the Best Placed 2nd Qualifying Round they kind of feel like an extension of pre-season.

Any idea how many rounds we have to win to get from the Best Placed 2nd Qualifying Round to qualify for the Group Stage and meet expectations?

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 18 June 2021

STIMAC GETS HIS MAN

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac was clearly delighted as he introduced 30-year old centre-back Rafael Toloi to the media.

Sitting in the press conference at Pride Park, you could hear the emotion in Stimac's voice, as he said, "I am delighted to be able to welcome Rafael to the club." After missing out on Medhi Benatia and Aissi Mandi in January, Stimac has finally signed a centre-back to play alongside Chris Smalling.

AS Monaco had accepted bids from Derby County and LOSC Lille and Toloi was expected to opt to stay in France. Toloi, who can speak basic English, said he was looking for a new challenge after spending the last three seasons playing in France. Toloi also said he was looking forward to his extensive language course.

Toloi signs for £6.5M on a contract until 30 June 2024.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 19 June 2021

WISDOM SET TO LEAVE DERBY FOR WOLVES?

RamsFanzine: With 11 days to go until Andre Wisdom's contract with Derby County expires, the 28-year old centre-back seems determined to leave as a free agent with Wolves reported to be waiting in the wings to sign him up.

Director of Football Igor Stimac is still negotiating with Wisdom's representatives as, we understand from club sources, manager Stuniverse would like Wisdom to stay, after the Jamaican international stepped up last season and formed an outstanding central defensive partnership with club captain Chris Smalling.

The chances of the Rams keeping Wisdom now appear very slim as Wisdom has rejected three contract offers and will become a free agent on July 1st.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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9 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

Thanks @JaytheGreat. I don't know about 'top notch' but thank you.

Seeing how the EURO Cup fixtures have been scheduled for the Best Placed 2nd Qualifying Round they kind of feel like an extension of pre-season.

Any idea how many rounds we have to win to get from the Best Placed 2nd Qualifying Round to qualify for the Group Stage and meet expectations?

I'm not 100% sure but I think you have to win 3 rounds.

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Well done on the 7th place finish and the European qualification! Looking forward to see how The Rams fare in Europe.

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21 minutes ago, psychonaut said:

Well done on the 7th place finish and the European qualification! Looking forward to see how The Rams fare in Europe.

Thank you, @psychonaut. So am I.

Who would have thought that a season on from surviving relegation on the last day of the season on goal difference we’d go on to finish 7th and qualify for Europe? Not me, that’s for sure.

Come on you, 🐏s!

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Just now, Northernpilgrim said:

Good luck in Europe :)

Thank you, @Northernpilgrim. Not really sure what to expect against Israeli or Albanian opposition. Also, not sure how many rounds before the Group Stage (Board’s expectation). All will no doubt become clear in due course...

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 23 June 2021

TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD

RamsFanzine understand Derby County are looking to bring all three loan players from last season back to Pride Park again this season.

Director of Football Igor Stimac has confirmed that Harry Wilson (Liverpool) and Mason Mount (Chelsea) will be returning on loan for the season and the loan deals cannot be terminated by their parent clubs.

Attempts to bring Kenedy back to Derby appear to have ended in failure. A club source told us that AS Roma don't want to loan the player out this season; Derby had a bid of £18M  accepted, but Stimac was unable to agree personal terms with Kenedy.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Euro Cup Qualifying Rounds

Looks like the EURO Cup has two more rounds after the Best Placed - Second Qualifying Round.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 24 June 2021

STIMAC FACES DARMIAN WAITING GAME

RamsFanzine understand that Derby County have agreed an £11M fee with AS Monaco for 31-year old Italian full-back Matteo Darmian. It is believed Director of Football Igor Stimac thinks he has agreed personal terms 'in principle' with Darmian and his representatives. There's some doubt though over whether Darmian wants to sign for Derby with reports that his agent is actively seeking other suitors.

Darmian, who can play both full-back positions, is primarily a right-back and Derby County already have two exciting young right-backs in Max Aarons and Jayden Bogle. The Rams are short at left-back though. With Kenedy unlikely to return, Max Lowe is the only established left-back in the current senior squad, although Aarons did provide cover there a few times during the 2019/20 season when Derby County avoided relegation on the final day of the season.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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