In the three years that Jonathan Mitchell has been at Derby County, he has shown a great deal of progress.
Since joining, he has become a highly-rated member of the senior set-up, established himself as Scott Carson’s number two, made his Rams debut, made his EFL debut and broken into the England Under-21 international set-up
He has certainly come a long way since he was released by Newcastle United.
Mitchell is someone that Gary Rowett rates very highly and after putting pen to paper on a new four-year contract, the goalkeeper sat down with RamsTV to discuss how he has grasped his ‘second chance’ as a Derby player.
He said: “I was 19 when I got released from Newcastle and obviously it wasn’t the best of times but it gave me the motivation to come and prove people wrong.
“Coming to Derby was almost like a second chance after being released by Newcastle and it was one that I was so happy to get.
“It was my intention from the start to put my all into and do my best to see what happens.
“I feel that I’ve improved a lot and hopefully I will continue to improve a lot in the future.”
After a season of promise over the course of the 2016/17 campaign, Rowett, the Derby boss, revealed that the club have received a number of loan enquiries from other clubs for Mitchell’s services this summer
It’s easy to see why after another promising 2016/17 campaign.
After further cementing his place as Derby’s second choice goalkeeper, the 22-year-old impressed in cup matches against Premier League opposition in Liverpool and Leicester City.
His form also earned him his first call-up to the England Under-21s set-up back in November 2016, with his form earning him a place in their final UEFA U21 European Championship finals in Poland over the summer.
Now, with his new long-term contract behind him, he is keen to push Scott Carson all the way for a starting role with Derby County over the 2017/18 season.
He added: “It was quite a good season for me. Hopefully I can try and push on now to play more games and improve even more.
“I think every young player at every club always has their eye on nailing down their place in the first team.
“In my position, I look at people like Scotty and see the standard that I need to get to.
“Obviously I want to go out and play as many games as I can whether that’s at Derby or another club on loan.
“Having said that, it’s still a great job for me to go and push Scott all the way at Derby County this season.”