Meet the Team


Dawn Heron

Dawn joined the Derbyshire County FA in January 2001 as Assistant County Secretary to support the Association Secretary with secretarial, financial and IT areas. She became Chief Executive Designate for interim period until Keith Compton’s retirement from post and finally took over as Chief Executive Officer on 1st July 2010. Dawn has previously been involved in purchasing & sales, finance and IT.

Roles and responsibilities include being accountable for the effective delivery of DCFA Business Plan and to be accountable to the Board of Directors on matters relating to the Business Plan.

She is actively involved in sports as a volunteer outside of her busy schedule and continues to officiate and coach when available.

Dawn Heron
Chief Executive Officer

Keely Brown

Keely joined Derbyshire County FA in January 2005 originally as the Football Development Officer responsible for Girls and Women’s Football, having previously worked at two professional football clubs and a local authority.

In 2008 she became the County Development Manager overseeing the Football Development section of the County FA and in July 2015 became the County FA’s Head of Strategy & Facilities. Keely provides business support to the CEO and has a specific remit around facility development and investment. She also leads on the implementation of The FA National Game Strategy in Derbyshire.

Keely Brown
Head of Strategy & Facilities

Liam Rooney

Liam Rooney was appointed Football Development Manager at Derbyshire County FA in January 2011 following two successful years as a Football Development Officer. His role includes Clubs Development, FA Charter Standard Club and League Programmes, League Development and also assists the District Football Focus Groups.
He previously worked as a Sports Development Officer for six years at East Staffordshire Borough Council.

Having been a player and coach during his journey in football, Liam feels he is lucky and very proud to be working in the sport he has loved since he was child.

Liam Rooney
Football Development Manager

Angie Harper

Angie Harper was originally appointed as Football Development Administrator in July 2008. That November, Angie was appointed as the Women’s and Girls Football Development Officer.

Angie graduated from University of Derby in 2006 with a BA (Hons) in Sports Studies. She is also a Level 2 football and Level 1 hockey coach.

Angie’s role encompasses, increasing female participation and supporting club development and the Football 4 Girls projects. Offer support for female league development. Recruit and support female coaches, volunteers, young leaders and referees. Support and develop opportunities for under-represented groups, particularly players with disabilities and players from minority ethnic communities.

Angie Harper
Football Development Officer (Womens|Girls|Inclusion)

Pete Collins

Within his role as Football Development Officer (Children and Young People), Pete leads on a number of work programmes related to children and young people that sit within the National Game Strategy. Some of the key focuses are establishing CYP Partnership groups, the development of the Football Futures Young Leadership programme and the Young Leader Management Team, the Football Mash Up programme and the relationships with Secondary, Further and Higher Education.

Pete started his role at Derbyshire County FA in February 2011 after spending four years as the Disability Football Development Officer in partnership with Derby County Community Trust.

Pete Collins
Football Development Officer (Children & Young People)

Louise joined the Derbyshire County FA in May 2016 as Football Course Co-ordinator with responsibilities including the administration of the Football Education programme. Louise has always worked in admin, most recently within the NHS. She holds a BTEC in Business and Finance and also NVQ Level 4 in Business Admin.

With a family heavily involved in grassroots football, Louise volunteers within her local club, currently as Club Welfare Officer & Charter Standard Co-ordinator. Louise is also an FA Level 1 Coach and assists with the younger age groups within the club whenever possible.

Louise Fox
Football Course Co-ordinator

Cath Morton

Cath Morton has been in post at Derbyshire County FA since 2008 in the role of County Welfare Officer. Cath has a key role in raising standards in football across Derbyshire through encouraging clubs, leagues and individuals to develop best practice to ensure children are getting good experiences from the game. Cath also has a key role in implementing the Respect programme across the county. Cath is an FA Licensed Tutor and regularly tutors both safeguarding Children courses and the Welfare officer workshop.

Prior to working for Derbyshire County FA, Cath worked in Sport Development and Equality roles for 10-years in Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

Cath Morton
County Welfare Officer | Respect Lead Officer

Nigel Smith

Nigel was appointed to the role of Refereeing Development Officer in August 2008 and then appointed to his current role of County Operations Manager in February 2011 and is responsible for the management of the Operations Team which includes overseeing the Discipline, County Cup Competitions, Club Affiliations, League Sanctions and Office Operations.

Working closely with the Chief Executive and County Development Manager, to create a Senior Management Team which focuses on internal development and informed business decisions.

Nigel Smith
Operations Manager

Alison Smith

Alison has been employed in administration roles for many years, most recently within local authority.

Alison’s involvement with local football began when both her boys began playing for a local club which was managed by their father. She soon became Assistant Secretary of the club before taking over as Club Secretary which she did for five years. Her husband and both boys then qualified as referees. Not long after she was invited to become Referee Secretary for a committee of a local league in Derbyshire.

Alison’s responsibilities will include raising cautions from referees reports, the administration of fines, payments and affiliations, plus the day to day administration of the department.

Alison Smith
Operations Administrational Officer

Ryan Haynes

Ryan became the first Referee Administrator at Derbyshire County FA in 2013; in 2014 he took the step into Development and is now working as Referee Development Officer.

As the Referee Development Officer, it is his responsibility to lead and implement effective recruitment, retention and development strategies whilst monitoring the referee volunteer workforce and providing suitable support and guidance (leading to the growth and development of all aspects of refereeing including adult, youth, women and girls and disability). It is Ryan's aim to work towards providing a registered referee for every affiliated game of football in the County.

Ryan is a Level 4 Referee and Level 2 Tutor. He is also a Level 1 football coach and previously worked for SoccerStarsUK. Ryan collected his Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in October 2013 from St James’ Palace and is still supporting the award.

Ryan Haynes
Referee Development Officer


Jamie joined Derbyshire County FA in February 2017 as the Marketing and Communications Officer.  He is a Broadcast Journalism graduate from Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 2015.

Jamie has experience in journalism, having carried out a variety of work placements and voluntary roles covering a range of media platforms, and aims to utilise his journalistic skills to work in the sport he loves.

In his role, Jamie will be looking to increase the social media presence of Derbyshire County FA to raise the awareness of football opportunities, as well as working closely with the team on a range of projects and events.


Jamie Griffiths
Marketing & Communications Officer



Jack joined Derbyshire County FA in February 2016 as the Apprentice Business Administration Officer. He joined after spending time at the JCB Academy in Uttoxeter.

He is responsible for assisting all areas of the organisation with administration tasks and any ad hoc jobs that come about. For example, he will assist with Football Education course bookings, county cup administration and referee appointments.

Jack will also be part of the annual DCFA Awards Night strategy group.

Jack Wagstaff
Apprentice Business
Administration Officer

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