Lewin Nyatanga has celebrated his 17th birthday by signing his first professional deal with Derby County.
The 6ft 2in centre-back, who this week became the youngest player to captain Wales Under-21s, has signed a two-year contract at Pride Park.
"To captain an international side and sign a professional contract with the Rams has made it an incredible few days for me," said Nyatanga.
Lionel Ainsworth and Giles Barnes have also stepped up from Derby's Academy.
Wales Under-21 manager Brian Flynn has described Nyatanga as a "special" player, and had no hesitation in making his captain in the second half of this week's friendly with Malta.
Nyatanga, who qualifies for Wales though his Newport-born grandmother, became Wales' youngest Under-21 player at 16 years and 174 days when he came on against Germany in February.
And Flynn said: "It is clear for everyone to see that he has a chance of making it.
"Potential is a huge word - it is realising it that is important."
Nyatanga added: "Brian Flynn showed real faith in me and gave me the confidence to believe in myself.
"It's the same at Derby - they believe in me and now it's up to me to repay that faith by proving I am worthy of a place in the senior side."