It was a memorable 2018/19 campaign for Derby County youngster Max Bird.
Only in his second year of his scholarship at the time, Academy graduate Bird trained regularly with then-manager Frank Lampard’s first team and impressed both staff and his teammates.
His passion for football was clear to see as he appeared for the Under-18s and he also stepped up to captain the club’s Under-23 side.
His performances earned him some minutes in the first team as he appeared in the Carabao Cup wins against Oldham Athletic and Hull City.
Saturday 1st December was a memorable day for Bird as he made his Sky Bet Championship debut in the Rams’ 2-1 win over Swansea, whilst his first professional start for the club came in January against Premier League side Southampton in the FA Cup.
His professional league debut came against Aston Villa and in total he made eight appearances for the club.
In what was a challenging year for the youngster, his efforts were rewarded as he won the Apprentice of the Year at the EFL Awards.
He beat off competition from Rochdale’s Daniel Adshead and Stevenage’s Arthurn Iontton to win the award.
In March, Bird signed a new four-year contract, keeping him at the club until 2022.