JAKE Buxton’s leadership on and off the pitch has been praised as the defender becomes the latest Derby County player to sign a new contract.
The 29-year-old has been rewarded with a new three-year deal that runs to 2017.
He had a year to run on his contract.
Buxton, a popular figure with the fans, made 52 appearances last season at the heart of the defence and impressed head coach Steve McClaren.
“It’s great news that Jake has signed a new contract,” said McClaren.
“He has improved his game and his performances last season were excellent.
“His leadership both on the field and off it in the dressing room and around the place has been spot on.
“We’re very pleased that he is sticking around and you know what you are going to get day in day out from him.”
Buxton has made 132 appearances and scored 10 goals for Derby since he signed on a free transfer from Burton Albion in 2009.
He would have played more games but for a lengthy spell out through injury.
His wholehearted contribution was recognised last season when the supporters’ clubs named him as their player of the year at the end of the season.
Midfielder Jeff Hendrick and left-back Craig Forsyth signed new long-term contracts last week.
DERBY’S home Championship clash against Watford in April has been brought forward 24 hours.
The Rams were due to entertain Watford Saturday, April 4, but the game will now be played on Good Friday, April 3, kick-off 3pm.
Playing Good Friday will give Derby’s squad further time to prepare for their Easter Monday trip to Wigan Athletic on April 6.