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Defender Lewin Nyatanga crowned a memorable week by picking up the Football League Championship Apprentice of the Year award on Sunday.

The 17-year-old picked up the prize after completing the transformation from first-year Academy player to full international in just seven months.

He had already become the youngest-ever Welsh U21 international when in August last year he followed that up by becoming the youngest-ever captain, and signing his first professional deal with Derby County on his 17th birthday.

A first-team debut followed later that month, and by the end of 2005 he was a fixture in the centre of defence having also scored his first senior goal in November's 2-1 win at Stoke City - only his second senior start.

The Burton-born star then became the youngest-ever senior Welsh international when he played the full 90 minutes against Paraguay at the Millennium Stadium last Wednesday.

Nyatanga's performance against the South Americans - England's first World Cup opponents - earned him plaudits from national coach John Toshack, skipper Ryan Giggs, and rave reviews from those who saw the game.

To pick up the prize at Sunday's inaugural Football League Awards, Nyatanga saw off stiff competition from Coventry City's Andrew Gooding, Rhoys Wiggins of Crystal Palace, Preston North End's Ben Hinchcliffe, Andrew Broadbent of Sheffield Wednesday, and Watford's Ben Gill.

The Rams were also up for awards in the programme of the year and best marketing campaign categories, but they went to Crystal Palace and Preston North End respectively.
 

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The guy is a legend already, I just hope we can keep hold of him.
 

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I think, he's a great talent, but raising Jimbo's concerns, I realli hope we can keep hold of him, With the board in charge, they would be willing to sell any of our young hopefuls for knock down prices!!!. Lets hope with a new board in charge, we can keep Lewin and make a charge up the league!!!
 
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