The former Nottingham Forest defender was manager of Derby’s under-18 side last season, but he will now get the chance to develop players a little closer to the first team in an attempt to improve the flow of youth into the senior squad.
Last season, the Rams Under-21 side came close to being promoted to the U21 Premier League division 1, but missed out by a point following a goalless draw with West Bromwich Albion in their final match.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the young Rams as they had shown in their first season as a category 1 academy that they have a bright future.
Wassall will now be tasked with working under two of the most highly-rated youth coaches in the game – Paul Clement and John Peacock – and help develop players ready for the first team.
Which U21 Derby players could Wassall help break into the first team next season?
Ivan Calero, Farrand Rawson and Jamie Hanson are three players who particularly stood out for the Rams Under-21 side last season and will hope that their form won’t go unnoticed under the new regime.
Rawson, who had an excellent loan spell with Rotherham last season, faces competition from the likes of Alex Pearce, Jake Buxton, Richard Keogh and Raul Albentosa, for a spot at centre-back but shouldn’t be ruled out.
Hanson could look to replace Omar Mascarell in the Derby squad as an option in central defensive midfield, while Calero has the chance to replace Jamie Ward as an option out wide.
Isak Ssewankambo, Tom Klobenz, Mason Bennett and Kwame Thomas are also worth considering as the East Midlands side can boast one of the best academies in the country.