A partnership between a local village football team and a Derby restaurant has paid dividends after the team triumphed against a high-profile Derby County side that had been unbeaten all season.
At the beginning of the 2016/17 season Anoki restaurant provided sponsorship for the Duffield Dynamos Under 11’s girls football team, which enabled it to buy new kit.
This provided the team with the boost it needed to go on an incredible run, which culminated in beating Derby County LFC 2-1 in the Derby Girls and Ladies League (DGLL) cup final which was held at Matlock Town’s Causeway Lane ground on Tuesday 2 May.
Although it was only formed a little over a year ago, the Under 11 team has come on in leaps and bounds – particularly considering that the vast majority of the squad had never played football before.
But with two training sessions a week, the girls have rapidly developed into a competent squad, with a fantastic sense of camaraderie and team spirit which has played a major role in them winning the DGLL cup final.
As well as sponsoring the team’s kit, Anoki also hosted a Christmas party for the girls and their families at its award-winning restaurant on the A38 near Burton.
Commenting on the team’s success, team manager Andrew Davidson, said:
“For a small village side that has been running for less than a year to beat a Derby County team whose players are handpicked at pre-season trials is an amazing achievement and we’re so proud of all the girls.
“Although developing the girls’ all round game is more important than winning at the under 11 age group, we’ve achieved an impressive win ratio throughout the season and are so pleased to have won the knockout cup competition.
“Massive thanks go out to Anoki for all their support over the past 12 months – we look forward to sharing more successes with the team in the future.”
Naveed Khaliq, owner of Anoki, added:
“Everyone at Anoki is so proud of the efforts of such a great young sports team who have made fantastic progress in such a short period of time.
“We’re pleased that we have been part of their journey and would like to take this opportunity to wish them good luck for all of their future games and competitions!”
Anoki opened its doors in Derby in October 2003 and now operates award-winning restaurants in Derby, Nottingham and Burton-on-Trent.
Over the years Anoki has established itself as one of the most unique dining experiences in the region and has set the standard that its competitors strive to achieve.