Goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell joined Derby County in the summer of 2014 on a free transfer from Newcastle United.
He was an unused substitute on a handful of occasions during the 2014/15 season for the first-team, with his match action coming in Derby’s Under 21 side.
His impressive performances and development during the season saw him sign a new one-year deal.
Mitchell made his reserve team debut for Newcastle at the age of 15 against Manchester City in January 2011 while still at school, and also travelled with Newcastle’s Development Squad to Italy for the Torneo di Viareggio tournament a month later.
During that season, Mitchell had shared goalkeeping duties for Newcastle’s Under-16 side, before featuring for the Under-18s’ set-up in April – three months after making his debut for the Under-21s - when he kept a clean sheet in a 3-0 win over Barnsley.
The former High Tunstall College of Science pupil captained his Hartlepool school in rugby before deciding to concentrate solely on football, and became a first-year scholar at the Newcastle Academy in the summer of 2011.
The Hartlepool-born shot-stopper enjoyed a successful loan spell at Workington in 2012/13, and re-joined the Skrill North side again on a one-month youth loan earlier in the 2013/14 campaign, which allowed him to continue playing for the Magpies’ Under-21s side.
Norwegian goalkeeper Morch signed professional terms with Derby County during the summer of 2012.
He was spotted playing for Mandal in Norway and after coming over for a trial period, he impressed the Rams enough to be offered a scholarship in the Academy.
He picked up a bad knee injury in his first season with the club and it ruled him out for half of the season, but he bounced back to be a regular in the 2011/12 season but a dislocated shoulder ruled him out of the final weeks of the season.
Morch has a great attitude and, as you would expect for a goalkeeper, he is incredibly brave. He has a good technique and, crucially, he is as enthusiastic as they come and he is out on the training pitch every day wanting to improve.
He is yet to make his first-team debut with a further shoulder problem ruling him out for the majority of the 2014/15 season.
A product of the Derby County Academy, Rawson was handed a professional contract by the Rams in the summer of 2014 after two years as a scholar.
A commanding centre-half with a strong and powerful presence, Rawson had impressed in Derby’s Under 18s and was part of the side that progress to the FA Youth Cup Quarter Finals in 2013.
Rawson travelled with Derby’s first-team for their pre-season tour of Austria ahead of the 2014/15 season and featured in the 1-0 win over Slavija Sarajevo.
His solid start to the 2014/15 season for Derby’s Under 21 side saw him called up to the first-team squad for the Capital One Cup Second Round tie with Charlton Athletic in August 2014, where he was an unused substitute.
In order to aid his development Rawson spent some time on loan at fellow Championship side Rotherham United in 2014/15, appearing on four occasions before returning to Derby to act as an unused substitute on the final day of the season against Reading.
Republic of Ireland youth international defender Jack Tuite joined Derby County from Irish side Cherry Orchard in 2013 on a two-year scholarship agreement.
Capable of playing at right-back or in central defence, Tuite completed his scholarship in the summer of 2015 before stepping up to Derby’s Under 21 side.
He has performed for his country at a number of youth international levels and also worn the captain’s armband.
Tuite’s arrival extended Derby’s relationship with Cherry Orchard, following in the footsteps of Ram’s players both past and present.
Don O’Riordan, Dave Langan, Mark O’Brien and Conor Sammon all came through the ranks of the Dublin club before moving to England.
Derby County moved to sign Sweden Under 21 international defender Isak Ssewankambo in January 2015.
He joined the Rams on a two-and-a-half year deal after parting company with Dutch top flight side NAC Breda.
Comfortable playing in defence or midfield, Ssewankambo spent some time training with the Club before putting pen-to-paper.
Prior to his move to Holland, he had spent two years at Chelsea between 2012 and 2014 and he was part of their 2014 FA Youth Cup winning squad, as well as featuring regularly for their reserve side.
He then moved to NAC Breda in the summer of 2014 and made 13 Eredivisie games before leaving the club shortly before linking up with Derby.
Born in Angered in Sweden, Ssewankambo has represented his country at Under 17, Under 19 and Under 21 level.
England Under 18 international Max Lowe became a professional at Derby County in the summer of 2015, following two years as a scholar.
The left-sided player - comfortable of performing at left-back or further forward in midfield - featured on a number of occasions for the Under 21s while he was still a scholar in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 campaigns.
He also wore the captain’s armband for Derby’s Under 18s on a number of occasions, rising to the challenge as part of his development.
He was an unused substitute for Derby’s first-team in the 2013/14 season and has also been capped by England at Under 16, 17 and 18 level.
Derby County moved to sign promising German central midfielder Tom Koblenz in September 2014 following a trial spell with the club.
Koblenz, who hails from Homburg and trained with the German Under 18 national side in the 2013/14 season, put pen-to-paper on a two-year contract, with Derby seeing off the attentions of a number of clubs to bring him to the iPro Stadium.
The 6ft 1in player was part of Hoffenheim’s Under 19 side in 2013/14 that clinched the Bundesliga Under 19 title.
He had previously progressed through the Academy of Kaiserslautern before transferring to Hoffenheim, where he had spent the last three years before clinching his move to Derby.
Central midfielder Callum Guy signed professional terms with Derby County in February 2015 to step up to the Under 21 squad on a permanent basis.
He has progressed right the way through the ranks in the Academy, after joining Derby at the age of nine.
Since switching to the central midfield position at Under 16 level, after initially starting out as a winger, Guy has blossomed in his new role.
He also took on the responsibility of being Captain for the Under 18s’ FA Youth Cup Third Round victory at Brighton & Hove Albion in December 2014.
He impressed with a number of fine displays and goals for Derby’s Under 21 side prior to signing professional terms, including a well-taken brace in a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
Kosovo international midfielder Alban Bunjaku agreed to join Derby County in the summer of 2014, signing a two-year deal on a free transfer.
The attack-minded central midfielder was ear-marked as a player with potential after training with Derby’s first-team squad towards the end of the 2013/14 season.
In 2014/15 Bunjaku didn’t feature for Derby at first-team level, but impressed for the Rams’ Under 21 side and was also a regular on the scoresheet.
He had previously been contracted to Arsenal and Sevilla in Spain before he moved to the iPro Stadium.
Born in Romford, Bunjaku progressed through the Gunners’ Academy having joined the club when he was eight-years-old.
At the end of the 2011/12 season, Bunjaku was allowed to depart for La Liga side Sevilla on a free transfer, agreeing a three-year deal following a successful trial period with the Spanish club.
Bunjaku became a senior international in 2014 after featuring three times for Kosovo in their friendlies against Turkey, Senegal and Haiti.
Slovenia-born attacking midfielder Elsnik joined Derby County in the summer of 2015.
He had spent some time on trial with Derby’s Under 21 side during the back end of the 2014/15 campaign and impressed enough to win a contract.
Previously with NK Aluminij Kidricevo, Elsnik can play in a number of attacking positions.
He has also represented his country at international level and, as of May 2015, was a regular face in the Slovenia Under 17 squad.
Derby County completed the signing of promising wideman Alefe Santos during the summer of 2014.
The winger agreed a two-year deal with the Rams, with the option of a further year, after turning down the offer of a new contract with Bristol Rovers.
He had attracted interest from a number of clubs was offered the chance to play in the Premier League, but after holding discussions with Derby, Santos committed his future to the club.
Part of Derby’s new-look Under 21 squad, Santos impressed in the early weeks of the 2014/15 season and was handed his first-team debut as a second-half substitute in Derby’s Capital One Cup Second Round tie against Charlton Athletic in August 2014.
He continued his development in January 2015 by joining League 1 Notts County on loan for a month, where he made three appearances, before returning to Derby.
Santos was born in Sao Paulo in Brazil, before moving to England at the age of 12.
He started his football career in England as a schoolboy at Bristol Rovers and went on to progress through the youth system at the Memorial Stadium, before he signed his first professional contract in 2013.
He appeared 27 times for Rovers in the 2013/14 season and scored his first-ever professional goal in a 1-1 draw at Mansfield Town in October 2013, having made his first-team bow the previous campaign whilst still a scholar.
Derby County completed the signing of Spanish youth international Ivan Calero in July 2014.
After leaving La Liga Champions Atletico Madrid during the summer of 2014, Calero spent two weeks training with the Rams, scoring in the side’s pre-season friendly against Mickleover Sports, as well as featuring in the warm-up fixtures against Nuneaton Town and Northampton Town.
The Atletico Madrid Academy graduate put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with the club, with the option of a further year.
He made his first-team debut in August 2014 as a second-half substitute in the Second Round of the Capital One Cup against Charlton Athletic at the iPro Stadium, and announced his arrival in stunning fashion with a fine goal three minutes from time to give Derby a 1-0 win.
Two further appearances off the bench followed for the first-team in the Sky Bet Championship, before spending a month on loan at League 2 Burton Albion where he made six appearances.
Calero featured for Spain’s Under-17, Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 teams, scoring six goals in 15 games, with the Rams fighting off a host of several other clubs to secure the services of the attacking midfielder, who can also operate out wide.
Calero had spent the previous two seasons playing for Atletico Madrid’s B team, and was involved with Diego Simeone's first-team in 2013, after being called up for a Europa League match.
Academy graduate Mason Bennett only turned 19 in July 2015, but already he has been on the first-team scene at Derby County for a number of years.
The powerful striker is tipped for a promising future in professional football and has broken a number of Derby’s club records already.
He was named on the substitutes bench for the Rams' 3-2 Carling Cup defeat to Shrewsbury Town in August 2011 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 2011. He hit the crossbar at the Riverside Stadium and impressed with a lively display in attack - but it wasn't a surprise to the Rams' coaching staff after an impressive 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, in 15 first-team appearances. 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.
In 2014/15 injuries and experienced players ahead of him in the pecking order limited him to two appearances off the bench for the first-team, while he also gained further match experience during a loan spell at League 1 Bradford City.
Bennett has represented England at Under-16 , Under-17 and Under-19 level to continue his development.
Striker Kwame Thomas signed professional terms with Derby County in the summer of 2014, after completing two years as a scholar in the Rams’ Academy system.
A powerful forward, the next stage of his development was to step up to Derby’s Under 21 squad in the 2014/15 campaign on a permanent basis.
He made his first-team debut in November 2014 away to Leeds United and made five appearances in total, all off the bench, during the campaign – as well as making a handful of outings at League 1 Notts County during a loan spell at Meadow Lane.
The frontman is one of a number of players who is expected to benefit from Derby stepping up to be a Category One Academy, and performing at the highest level of youth football in the country.
He scored regularly for Derby’s Under 18 and Under 21 sides in 2013/14 and was an unused substitute on a single occasion for the first-team, in a 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town.
An England Under 20 international, Thomas is a powerful forward who is a threat both in the air and on the ground.
Promising striker Offrande Zanzala signed professional terms with Derby County in March 2015.
Zanzala hails from Democratic Republic of the Congo but moved to Europe as a young child, and then moved to England at the age of eight before he joined the Rams as a schoolboy at the age of 12.
Since then, he has flourished in Derby’s Academy and, as well as developing his game, he has found the back of the net on a regular basis.
He was named as Scholar of the Year for 2014/15 - in addition to making a handful of appearances for the Under 21s before the season was out.
Derby County recruited the services of striker Charles Vernam in 2012 from Scunthorpe United, signing him on a two-year scholarship from the beginning of the 2013/14 campaign.
In the summer of 2015 he turned professional, stepping up to Derby’s Under 21 squad on a permanent basis after showing plenty of promise and potential.
During his two-years as a scholar he impressed in Derby’s Under 18 side, finding the back of the net on a regular basis and striking up a positive understanding with fellow forward Offrande Zanzala.
His form also led to a call-up to the Under 21 side on a handful of occasions during the 2014/15 season.
Striker Shaquille McDonald joined Derby County on a two-year contract in the summer of 2014 to become part of the Under 21 set-up, following a pre-season trial.
McDonald joined his former club Peterborough United from Chasetown in 2012 and was rewarded with a professional contract, after a prolific spell in which he scored 25 goals in 10 appearances for Peterborough’s Under 18 and reserve sides.
He spent time on loan at League 2 side Cheltenham Town to gain first-team experience in the latter months of the 2014/15 campaign, before returning to the Rams.