Scotland international midfielder thanks fans for their support during his spell in the East Midlands.Derby County midfielder Craig Bryson says the rapport he has built with the Rams’ faithful played a major role in his decision to sign fresh terms on a new five-year deal with the Club.
Bryson, 27, agreed the new long-term contract with the Rams on Thursday afternoon, ahead of the side’s opening pre-season friendly of 2014/15 - a 1-0 victory over Matlock Town at the Autoworld Arena.
And despite admitting the lure of Premier League football was tempting - after the Club confirmed they rejected a bid from Burnley last week - two-time Derby Player of the Year Bryson says the prospect of ending his relationship with the Rams’ supporters was not something that appealed to him.
Bryson told Rams Player: “First and foremost, I am delighted to sign the new contract.
“Both the Club and I have shown our commitment to each other and when they offered me a five-year deal I could not wait to get it signed.
“There was a bid from another Club and it was a chance to go and play in the Premier League, but I would love to try and get into the Premier League with Derby County and see where it takes us.
“In a way, it is nice when other clubs are looking at your players because you must be doing something right, and I think myself and Derby County can take a lot of confidence from that.
“I see my future at Derby County and I am just happy to get everything sorted to extend my stay.
“The deal secures my future; I know where I am going to be playing for the next five years.
"It is a massive club; the fans have been excellent with me – as have the management staff - everything has been excellent and I am just delighted to get it over the line.
“The last few seasons have been fantastic and to have won the Player of the Year award twice shows I must be doing something right on the pitch.
“I really appreciate that the fans have taken to me, we have got a nice bond, and it would have been hard to break it.”
Bryson became the fifth player to commit his future to Derby in recent weeks after Jeff Hendrick, Will Hughes, Jake Buxton and Craig Forsyth all signed new long-term deals with the Club.
And Scotland international Bryson says keeping the core of the squad together from the successful 2013/14 campaign could prove crucial as they look to emulate their achievements in the forthcoming Sky Bet Championship season.
“We have kept most of the squad together that got us so close last season, so now we have just got to kick on and get up the table again," said Bryson.
“Every player has got the dream of playing in the Premier League - and I am no different – hopefully this squad of players will have the chance to play there with Derby.
“There is a great squad of players here and we just want to stick together and go one better than we did last season.
“Everybody wants to get promoted. We have kept the majority of players together and if we can build and add a couple more, we will be right up there again.”
Watch the full interview with Craig Bryson on Rams Player.
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