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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 24 February, 2020

Breakout season at Derby earns Irish teenager Knight a new long-term deal

Derby County have handed the impressive 18-year-old midfielder a new contract that runs until 2023.

Jason Knight is congratulated by Jayden Bogle after scoring for Derby County against Middlesbrough.
Jason Knight is congratulated by Jayden Bogle after scoring for Derby County against Middlesbrough.
Image: Richard Sellers

JASON KNIGHT HAS committed his future to Derby County by signing a new contract that ties him to the Championship club until 2023.

The 18-year-old midfielder has been rewarded for a breakout season at Pride Park, which has seen him make 18 senior appearances.

“The last year or so has been amazing for myself personally and to top it off with a new contract is amazing,” said Knight, who made his first-team debut as a substitute against Huddersfield Town on the opening day of the season. “The club has a lot of faith in the youngsters coming through and that’s exciting.”

Knight has started in each of Derby County’s last eight fixtures in the Championship. The Dubliner also chipped in with three goals recently, scoring twice in the 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic, as well as finding the net in a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough.

He added: “The manager has trusted a number of the younger players in some important games and when you step out on the pitch you just want to repay the faith that he has shown in you.”

Fellow academy graduate Morgan Whittaker has also had his contract extended by the Rams, who sit in 15th place in the Championship ahead of Friday night’s meeting with League Two side Northampton Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

While manager Phillip Cocu is full of praise for the young duo, the former Barcelona midfielder insists that it’s still very early days in their development. 

“We’re delighted that Jason and Morgan have committed their long-term futures to Derby County,” he said. “Both players have been with the first-team since the start of pre-season and have shown real progression during that time.

“These new contracts are a reward for the hard work they’ve put in and the progress and development that we have seen from them, but they are also well aware that they must stay on the right path and continue to work hard and be dedicated to what they want to achieve.”

Knight, who joined Derby from Cabinteely at the age of 16, broke into the Republic of Ireland U21 squad last year and made seven appearances for Stephen Kenny’s side. 

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Paul Dollery

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