Derby County icon Jake Buxton has been appointed as the new Lead Under-21 Coach for the Rams with immediate effect.

The former Derby centre-back had previously been leading the club’s Under-18s and began excelling in his role as the season progressed, finishing the campaign with an impressive victory over Under-18s Premier League champions Manchester City.

Academy Manager Matt Hale was full of praise for the 38-year-old as he explained and applauded the Rams’ decision to promote Buxton to his new role with the Under-21s.

“We carried out an extensive process to find the right candidate who will not only be an outstanding coach but also an outstanding person and cultural fit,” said Hale.

Derby County v Chelsea - Capital One Cup Quarter-Final
Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

“I am delighted that Jake has been appointed as our Lead Under-21 Coach with immediate effect. We ran a highly professional process as you would expect and the numerous candidates we interviewed were all of a really strong calibre and very experienced within the Professional Development Phase.

“Jake has so much experience and knowledge of the professional game as well as the Derby County culture. Throughout the interview process he brought to life his vision for the Under-21s programme which was extremely impressive.

“His infectious personality combined with his professional etiquette made him the stand-out candidate and has quite rightly earnt the opportunity to take this role and be tasked with leading our Under-21 group.”

Brilliant Buxton

Buxton, or ‘Bucko’ to Rams fans, is a very popular figure amongst the Derby faithful who will no doubt be delighted to see his progression throughout the club’s academy set-up.

He spent seven years playing for Derby between 2009 and 2016, firmly establishing himself as a fan favourite over 159 appearances for the club in which he scored 13 goals.

Transferring from player to coach, the former pro had a brief stint as manager of Burton Albion during the 2021/22 season before returning to the Rams to take up an academy role.

Could we potentially see Buxton as part of the first team coaching staff in the future?