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Trio of young stars commit their future to Derby County

Darren Robinson, Max Bardell and Jack Thompson have all penned new deals at Derby County, committing their future to the club after impressive progression. The trio have made big steps in their development and have been rewarded with contract extensions.

Robinson has signed his first professional contract with Derby, extending his stay at the club until summer 2024. Bardell has also signed a professional deal with the Rams keeping him at the club until 2025. Thompson has agreed a two-year scholarship which will commence ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Northern Ireland youth international Robinson joined Derby ahead of the 2021/22 season where he started off in the U18s but quickly jumped up to the U23s. The midfielder made his senior debut in April 2022 in the Rams EFL Championship clash with Bristol City after impressing academy coaches with his debut season.

This season, the 18-year-old has featured twice for the first team in the Papa Johns Trophy and has played regularly for the U21s. He scored his first goal of the season last month in a Premier League Cup match against Bournemouth. Robinson also has three caps for Northern Ireland U19s.

Bardell joined Derby from Manchester City in 2019 and enjoyed two strong seasons with the U18s. After breaking ground into the U23s in the 2020/21 campaign he progressed to the next step full-time last season.

The defender enjoyed a fantastic campaign with the U23s before suffering a lengthy spell on the sidelines which he has recently returned from. Bardell’s impressive form at Under-21 level upon his return to fitness led to him making his first team debut against Torquay United in the FA Cup first round.

Jack Thompson, who turned 16 last month, made his debut for Derby at U18 level last season and has gone on to make five more appearances this season. The goalkeeper has also made the bench for the U21s on occasions this season. He has earned caps for England at U16 and U17 level in his short career.

The trio join Harry Evans in committing their future to the Rams after the keeper penned his first pro deal earlier in the season. Derby Academy Director Darren Wassall said: “To see Darren, Max and Jack commit their futures to Derby County is fantastic news.

“Alongside their undoubted abilities, they’ve shown us that they have the desire and determination to enjoy successful careers in the game. We stress that talent alone isn’t enough and they are shining examples of that.

“They all know that there’s plenty of hard work ahead moving forward, but it is encouraging for us that they see their futures with Derby County.”

He concluded: “We see potential in Darren, Max and Jack and we’ll give them every support tool required, on and off the pitch, to give them the best possible opportunity to be successful here.”

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