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Page last updated at 09:18 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Bywater signs new Rams contract

Stephen Bywater
Bywater joined Derby from West Ham in 2006

Derby County goalkeeper Stephen Bywater has signed a three year contract extension at Pride Park.

Bywater's deal was due to expire in the summer but manager Nigel Clough moved quickly to tie the keeper to the Rams until the summer of 2012.

The 27-year-old had fallen out of favour under previous boss Paul Jewell.

Bywater said: "We've got a terrific squad of players now and the manager is top-drawer. I'm looking forward to playing my part in it."

He added: "I thank the gaffer and the chairman for getting things done so quickly and professionally.

"I've enjoyed some good times already at Derby but I think we've got even better times ahead."

Under Clough, Bywater has replaced Roy Carroll as the number one keeper, starting the club's last five games.

Clough said: "It's great news for us, as Stephen is a top-class keeper.

"He has done well for us in recent weeks and he seems to be enjoying himself, which is good.

"We have good competition for the number one shirt now with Roy Carroll and Lewis Price in the ranks as well.

"Stephen knows to stay in the team he is going to have to continue his good form."

Former England U21 goalkeeper Bywater originally joined Derby from West Ham United in August 2006 and was a virtual ever-present as the Rams won promotion in his first season.

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