New signing Jonathan Mitchell admits the lure of joining "a club on the up" and working with goalkeeping coach Eric Steele were the two dominant factors behind his decision to join the Rams.
Mitchell, who will officially join the club on July 1 following the expiration of his contract with Newcastle United, penned a one-year deal with the Rams on Wednesday afternoon after completing a medical.
And 19-year-old Mitchell says the prospect of working with former Manchester United goalkeeping coach Steele at a promotion-chasing club was too appealing for him to turn down.
Mitchell told Rams Player: “I am really happy to sign for Derby County; it is a club on the up who narrowly missed out on promotion this year.
“I have really enjoyed training with the Club, it has been great working under Eric Steele; he is a legend in the game having worked with players like Edwin Van Der Sar and David De Gea at Manchester United.
“Hopefully he can improve me; he is ‘the man’ in the goalkeeping world, so he was certainly a massive draw.
“It looks as though there are a lot of talented goalkeepers here. Hopefully we can improve each other and make sure we are the best we can possibly be.
“I am desperate for pre-season to come around. We are back in on June 25 and then start again for the new season. But we have all got our own programme to be getting on with, so that will keep me busy.
“The main aim is to push the goalkeepers all the way by working as hard as I can in the gym and on the training field."
The Hartlepool-born shot-stopper joined the Magpies as a 15-year-old and progressed through their youth ranks, featuring for their Under-21 side last season.
And despite admitting it will be difficult to move away from his home for the last four years, Mitchell says he is excited about embracing a new challenge in his life.
He added: “I came into football quite late I suppose; I signed for Newcastle United when I was 15. I did my scholarship there and completed my first year as a professional last year.
"I have been there about four years, so it was quite hard to leave but that is football, you have just got to get on with it.
"It will probably take a bit of getting used to but I feel I can move away from home. I am looking forward to it - this is a new challenge in my life.”
Watch the full interview with Jonathan Mitchell exclusively on Rams Player.