Derby manager Phillip Cocu has shared his development plan with RamsTV and tips three or four current academy stars to be first team regulars in two years.
The current Derby U23 side are joint top of the Premier League 2 division.
Louie Sibley, Jason Knight, Lee Buchanan, Max Bird and Morgan Whittaker have all tasted first team action this season whether in the EFL Cup or the Championship.
Cocu admits those players who train with the first team this season must be ready to feature next year. And, by the third season, become regulars for the Rams.
I believe in a three-year development to the first team in young players. The first year you are invited to train with the first team. If you do well, you stay here with all the senior players. And maybe if you’re lucky you can play a cup game or come on in one or two games. The second year you have to be ready to play maybe 15, or if you do well, 20 or more games. And the third year you have to be ready to play all season. You will see now in two years, the players who train now, I think three or four will be a first team eleven starter.
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Phillip Cocu lays out his Derby County vision:
Phillip Cocu joined Derby in the summer after succeeding Frank Lampard. While many talk about a long-term vision, few seem as dedicated as the Dutchman.
The Rams have an impressive number of youngsters at youth level. The U18s won the Premier League Cup last season, while the U23 are showing real potential.
Just last week, the Derby U23 side thrashed Leeds United 7-1 at Loughborough.
Sibley scored a hat-trick that day, while Knight has been handed Championship starts this term. Both players currently train with the seniors so according to Cocu’s three-year plan, the talented duo can expect to feature on a regular basis next season.
Derby are currently lower midtable in the Championship. A top six finish may be unlikely this season, but there is still plenty to look forward to as a Rams supporter.