|The Rams Next Captain Commits to Clough!|
Thu 16th Dec 2010 07:09 by Daniel J Sewart
With all of the talk surrounding Kris Commons and his contract negotiations what surely is a huge signing for the Rams has been pushed out of the limelight slightly.
Shaun Barker is without a doubt going to be the next Captain of Derby County and his commitment to a new three year deal is a massive boost for the Rams and their immediate future.
Barker has been an ever-present rock at the heart of the Derby defence since he arrived from Blackpool and established himself firmly as a fan favourite. His obvious passion and commitment to perform at a high standard has found him already compared to some of the great Derby Centre halves.
The new contract means that the Rams have tied down a player who brings great strength and leadership to the field as well as someone who can take the club into its next phase as they look to push for a place in the Premiership.
Nigel Clough was more than pleased to seal the deal:
"We are delighted that Shaun has committed his future to Derby, he is just the type of character we want at the football club. He is a good, honest professional who has been a real example to the rest of our players with how he conducts himself on and off the pitch”.
"It is great news for everyone that he has agreed to remain part of our future and I am sure the fans are really excited about this news. We want to keep hold of our best players and to have Shaun's signature on his contract so soon after we started talking is a real feather in our cap."
Speaking to the official site Nigel believed that Barker could get even better:
"Since Shaun came here we've all seen he was the type of defender, and leader, that we were lacking. To come in, as a defender, and win the supporters' player of the year award in his first year was a great achievement for him and he's been excellent for us.”
"He is hugely popular in the dressing room and he is a leader both on and off the pitch. Shaun hasn't trained a great deal so far this season (due to injury), but to play as many games as he has is purely down to his heart and to how much, as a character, he wants to play football and win.”
"If he gets another 20-25 game under his belt this season and then a full pre-season next year, which he didn't have this year; we could see an even better Shaun Barker.”
"When planning ahead Shaun is someone we want to be around for a long time, and he is very much in our thoughts for wearing the captain's armband in the future."
"We talked about it when he signed actually. We didn't know how often Robbie would or wouldn't play, but we said to him he would wear the armband when Robbie isn't out there doing the great job he does."
For this Rams fan, as much as we do not need to see Kris Commons leave Derby, we would be in even more trouble should we lose the talents of Barker. He is a future leader and the leader who will play a big part in shaping the future of the Rams.
We now can only hope Kris Commons follows his lead and signs on the dotted line. The Rams have paid him a lot of money and are only now getting a decent consistent return for their investment.
Like Barker, it is now time for a class player like Commons to show they are truly committed to the cause and I am sure Nigel Clough will not accept anything less.
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Daniel J Sewart