Exciting young forward Mason Bennett has become the latest member of Derby County’s squad to sign a new long-term contract.
Bennett, who recently turned 18, this afternoon put pen-to-paper on a new four-year deal with the Rams until the summer of 2018.
He has become the sixth player to commit their future to the Club since the end of June, following in the footsteps of Jeff Hendrick, Craig Forsyth, Will Hughes, Jake Buxton and Craig Bryson.
Academy product Bennett, who became Derby’s youngest-ever player at the age of 15 years and 99 days in October 2011, has made 32 first-team appearances in a Rams shirt.
Bennett was named as the Championship’s Scholar of the Year at the annual Football League Awards in March of this year.
Head Coach Steve McClaren has been impressed with the potential Bennett, who is an England youth international, possesses.
McClaren said: “Mason Bennett is an exciting young talent and we’re pleased to announce that he has signed a new contract.
“He is one of a number of players that our Academy has produced in recent years and he has a lot of potential to work with and develop.”
It is anticipated that Derby will explore the possibility of Bennett gaining first-team experience this season out on loan.
McClaren added: “Mason had a brief loan spell at Chesterfield last season and we’ll see if we can do something similar this year, which will be another important part of his development.”
Bennett has been involved on the first-team scene at Derby County for a number of years.
He was named on the substitute's bench for the Rams' 3-2 League Cup defeat to Shrewsbury Town in August 2012 and although he didn't get on, he didn't have to wait too much longer to make his first team bow and make history.
At just 15 years and 99 days old Bennett became Derby’s youngest ever player when he was named in the starting line-up in a 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough in October 2012. He hit the crossbar at the Riverside Stadium and impressed with a lively display in attack - but it wasn't a surprise after a prolific run of form for Derby's Under-18s.
He made nine first-team appearances in total by the end of the campaign, as well as eight during the 2012/13 season and became Derby County’s youngest-ever goalscorer when he scored the first-ever goal of his career in a 5-0 FA Cup Third Round home win over Tranmere Rovers in January 2013.
At the age of 17 he scored his first-ever league goal in September 2013 to round off the scoring in Derby’s 5-1 win at Millwall.
He also spent time on loan at League 2 Chesterfield to gain vital experience, and came off the bench at Wembley Stadium in their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final against Peterborough United in April 2014.
He returned to the iPro Stadium to appear off the bench on the final day of the season against Leeds United, taking his total number of appearances during the season in a Derby shirt up to 14.
Bennett has represented England at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-19 level to continue his development.