Nigel Clough insists it is vital to the future of the club that Derby produce their own players - but the Rams boss has warned that the process takes time.

Teenagers Mark O'Brien and Jeff Hendrick are currently in the County first team and Clough feels there are around 10 to 12 other young players between the ages of 14 and 18 who could eventually make the step up.

"It is absolutely vital we bring our own players through. That is the aim for the next five and 10 years, whoever is here," Clough told the Derby Telegraph.

"We are delighted with the work being done in the Academy. People sometimes just see the youth team but it is everything else that is going on below that level from the development centres and Under-9s and all the way up.

"We are trying to put a system in place and a consistent message. Hopefully, the club will benefit from that in the years to come."

Clough added: "We had to sign two young players from Crewe last season. John Brayford had come through the system at Burton and James Bailey at Crewe, where he had been since the age of 12.

"Dario Gradi has been producing players at Crewe for 30 years and one of the reasons why they produce players consistently is that they keep the same people and same system in place.

"Such a system is vital but it does take time to see the benefits."

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