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Derby Hand Out Ten Professional Deals

Derby County have offered 10 apprentice players professional contracts.

Goalkeeper Ross Etheridge, defenders Dylan Hayes, Sam Berry and Josh Lelan, midfielders Rhys Sharpe, Niall Dawkins, Andy Dales and Ayrton Wassall, as well as forward Adam Wixted have been offered terms on the completion of their two-year scholarships.

Defender Jamie Hanson, who is a first-year apprentice, has also been offered a professional deal. The 17-year-old has been an unused substitute for the first-team in recent fixtures.

The Rams Academy is gaining quite a reputation for nurturing talented young players with Jeff Hendrick, Will Hughes, Mark O’Brien and Mason Bennett, all in the first-team squad.

And the club says that the number of professional contracts offered this year is further proof of the work being done within the Academy to develop their own players.

“The under-18s have had a good season, especially since Christmas, and in the FA Youth Cup their performances were incredible,” Manager Nigel Clough told the Derby Telegraph. “These contracts are a fitting reward for the players.”

“The under-21 league, which was introduced last summer, encourages us to give the young lads another year or so to continue their development and see how they cope.”

“Darren Wassall and his team have worked incredibly hard in the Academy over the last few years. They are doing a brilliant job.”

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