Derby County academy coach hails breakthrough of youngsters into first team

Louie Sibley (right) in action against Nottingham Forest.
Louie Sibley (right) in action against Nottingham Forest.

Derby County U18s boss Justin Walker says he is full of pride having seen several of his squad progress into the Rams' first team.

With the likes of Jayden Bogle and Max Bird having broken into the first team squad last season, this campaign has seen Lee Buchanan, Jason Knight, Louie Sibley and Morgan Whittaker all make appearances for Phillip Cocu's men in the league and Carabao Cup.

And Walker believes it is reward for the work put in by all involved with the club's academy setup.

He told RamsTV: “I am so proud and it is well deserved. The crucial part of that right now is they maximise the opportunity that they have provided because that is all you can ask for as a young player.

“The manager has provided that and it is up to them now what they do with that opportunity. You never know when that opportunity comes how they are going to react in that environment and what temperament they have.

“Knowing the boys like I do and as we do as an academy, nothing surprises us. They are certainly talented and I think it is always about that temperament, like Jayden Bogle proved last season because he could handle that.

“There are going to be ups and downs through their involvement with the first-team, but I think the belief that the staff and the club have invested into the lads is warranted.”