Derby County youngster Jason Knight is determined to build on what he has described as a ‘whirlwind’ 2019/20 season so far.
The 18-year-old midfielder is one of four players from the Rams’ Academy to have made their first-team debut under Phillip Cocu this season, with fellow Academy products Lee Buchanan, Morgan Whittaker and Louie Sibley also making their professional debuts in the current campaign.
The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has made ten appearances in all, including two starts in the Sky Bet Championship back in August.
Knight helped Derby’s Under-18s claim the National Title last season and he has continued his development this term too.
As well as featuring for the first-team on a handful of occasions, he has also picked up game time in Derby’s Under-23s and was shortlisted for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month accolade for October.
Knight is keen to keep moving in the right direction and believes having a taste of first-team football has left him wanting more in the future.
Speaking to The Ram, Knight said: “Personally, my goal for the rest of the season it is just to play as many games for the first-team as I can now and be involved as much as I can.
“Having been involved and starting a couple of league games has only made me want to kick on even more. I will just continue to work hard on the training pitches and hopefully more game time will come for me.”
He added: “As a team it is just week-by-week at this stage, looking to get a string of results together and move on from there.”
Knight trained with Derby’s first-team on several occasions last term and was an unused substitute for the Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg at Leeds United, as well as the Play-Off Final against Aston Villa.
Under Cocu, he was handed his professional debut as a late substitute in the 2-1 success on the opening day of the season.
Knight’s family have regularly visited from Ireland and they have been able to see him in action and he explained: “Coming on in the last minute or so against Huddersfield Town on the opening day was a great moment for me and my family.
“It was a brilliant result as well in the first game of the season, going away and getting a 2-1 win.I started at Scunthorpe United in the Carabao Cup, which was another positive, and after that I made my league debut against West Bromwich Albion near the end of August which was live on TV.
“That was another good moment for me because it meant my family could watch the match in Ireland and they all rang and messaged me afterwards saying how proud they were of me, so that nice.”
He added: “My dad has seen me a few times, but my mum came for the first time against Queens Park Rangers recently. Luckily, I came off the bench and she was really happy. We went out for some food after as well, so it was a great night and it’s been a whirlwind start to the season.”
The full interview with Jason Knight is available to read in the Sheffield Wednesday edition of The Ram, Derby County’s official matchday programme, in-and-around Pride Park Stadium on Wednesday evening for just £3 per copy. As well as reviewing the season to date and discussing his own development, the youngster also talks about training alongside Wayne Rooney and his international aspirations with his country.