Shot-stopper to spend the 2013-14 season at local Conference outfit.

Derby County goalkeeper Ross Atkins has joined Blue Square Bet Premier side Alfreton Town on a season-long loan deal.

The Reds, who secured 13th place in the Conference last season, reverted to operating on a part-time basis this summer, meaning Atkins will continue to train with the Rams during the week throughout the season as a full-time professional.

The 23-year-old spent the first half of the 2012-13 season on loan at Burton Albion under the stewardship of former Ram, Gary Rowett, making a total of seven appearances for the Brewers - having enjoyed a season-long loan at the Pirelli Stadium in 2011-12 when he made 48 outings between the sticks.

During the close season, Derby boss Nigel Clough stated that he was eager for former England youth international Atkins to gain first-team football, in order to continue his development.

Clough said: "At this stage of Ross’ career, he needs to be playing regular first-team football, so the move to Alfreton is a great opportunity for him.

"The loan move will be beneficial for all parties involved, as it allows Ross to play competitive first-team football, whilst training on a full-time basis with Martin Taylor and the rest of the goalkeepers.”

Atkins is a graduate of Derby County's Academy and he made his first-team debut for the Rams on the final day of the 2010-11 season against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

He has also enjoyed loan spells at Southport, Kidderminster Harriers and Tamworth in recent years, as well as three separate loan stints at Burton.