Rooney taking former Cabinteely star under his wing ahead of United test with midfielder on the road to backing up the prediction he made as a 12-year-old
The programme for last year's Cabinteely Mini World Cup featured a page on a player who has quickly developed into the club's proudest export.
It included a reproduced entry from this individual's sixth class yearbook.
"Hi, my name is Jason K," the kid wrote in 2013. "I am twelve years old and I live in Ballybrack. My favourite thing to do is play football. In ten years' time, I see myself playing for Barcelona in the blazing hot sun. Then in twenty years' time, I think I will just be finishing up my career and settling down with my wife."
Jason K is Jason Knight, a young man who has obviously always had a firm idea about his future.
Tonight, the Derby County teenager should continue his meteoric rise by contributing to an FA Cup tie with Manchester United, the team he supported as a child when Wayne Rooney was in his pomp. They are colleagues now, with Rooney taking the Dubliner under his wing for additional guidance post-training.
"He stays behind and does extra things with the younger lads," says Knight's father Paul. "Jason says he's excellent, he's always encouraging. It was a huge thing when he signed, they were all waiting for him to come in. It's a huge, huge thing."
Speak to anyone who has worked with Knight, and they will say with certainty that he will be absorbing every bit of knowledge that Rooney is imparting.
Ex-League of Ireland player Stephen Rice has developed a new career as a coach and describes working with Knight as one of the most enjoyable experiences of that transition.
Rice was placed in charge of the Dublin and District Schoolboys League (DDSL) Kennedy Cup (U-14) team for 2015 and Knight became the first ever Cabinteely player to make the cut.
"Jason wouldn't have been considered one of the stronger players," admits Rice, with players from the more established nurseries deemed to be the stars of the group.
"But once we brought him in, his attitude, his mentality, his hunger for information really stood out."
With that group, Rice introduced the idea of a logbook, a practice he'd spotted in other countries, which effectively functions as a form of homework.
He would pose questions for players on where they need to improve their game and let them take it home with them.
Some would prefer to write out their answers. Others would respond better to diagrams. Not every teenage boy would relish this task. Knight embraced the concept, listing out areas where he needed to strengthen and what he intended to do about it.
"He was like a sponge," Rice recalls. "He had an ability to take information and process it quickly and adapt it to the pitch. A lot of them know they have to get better but they don't put a plan in place. He wanted to be quite specific about achieving his objectives. He's my favourite player that I've worked with, an ideal player to coach."
It helped that his family was steeped in football. Paul and his wife Anita are integral parts of the Cabinteely schoolboy operation and their four sons - Kevin, Jason, Conor and Rhys - all developed a love for the game there.
Kevin is with the Cabinteely first team and Conor and Rhys are coming through the underage ranks. Jason's ability propelled him to another level, yet the passion for his alma mater remains.
Paul laughs as he tells the story of his English-based son coming home to watch Kevin play and getting so annoyed by a last-minute concession that he started offering first team coach Eddie Gormley his opinion on his way to the dressing-room.
Gormley already knew the Derby player's personality, so he shouldn't have been taken aback. He'd played a part in the midfielder's development, with Paul also mentioning the late Andy Rice, a long-term member of the Cabinteely academy, who tragically passed away last year aged just 41.
"I was his manager at a younger age," continues the proud parent. "That will to win didn't always come out the best way. If Jason lost, he'd be cranky for days. He wouldn't get over it quick."
The clan have noted an encouraging change now that he's quickly become an established member of Derby's first team squad, with the 19-year-old marking his 24th senior appearance with a fourth goal in a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend. The Championship is a relentless league and there is little time to dwell on any disappointments.
"He sees the positives," Paul continues. "His attitude has been very good. It's two matches a week, it's a gruelling, gruelling league. He lives in a digs very close to the training ground, he went into digs with a family when he moved over and he's stayed with them. He's putting every effort into this now, he does a lot of extra training."
Successive managers have warmed to the Dubliner. Frank Lampard promoted him to the first team squad towards the tail end of last season, and he was included in the play-off squad that suffered disappointment at the final hurdle even though he didn't get on the pitch.
Knight has been likened to Lampard in terms of playing style, specifically with regard to his eye for goal and a good habit of timing runs into the area.
"Straight away, Lampard and Jody Morris took to him," Paul explains. "He went with them to Wembley, he knew he was progressing then. They spoke to him a lot."
Under Philippe Cocu, the graph has continued upwards. The Dutchman was given positive recommendations by staff and could see what the fuss was about.
Shay Given stayed on at goalkeeping coach at Derby after Lampard's exit, and he's a massive fan of Knight, believing he's a strong candidate for promotion to the Ireland senior squad from the U-21 camp when Stephen Kenny takes the reins.
"A fantastic character," said Given, "If you look at his running stats, he's probably the fittest person at the club. Also, he's got personality. He makes demands of people, he will shout at older players.
"He's got real leadership qualities, and he could be a captain one day. I think that highly of him."
Those words would resonate with Rice. He had stint with the Irish women's side last year and got a tap on the shoulder in the team hotel in Johnstown one day.
It was Knight, who was in the same residence on U-21 duty, seeking out his old coach for a chat.
"He's a great kid, a good person," says Rice, "And he's developed his game so much.
"I remember back when I met him first with the Kennedy Cup team, he said to me that he hadn't been on too many trials unlike some of the other lads.
"But once people started to watch him play at representative level, it all changed. It wasn't that he was doing anything unbelievable; Jason would do the simple things very well and his awareness is exceptional.
"Coaches and players would always appreciate what he brings to the side. It might be missed out by the untrained eye.
"I always said to him that the technical stuff would come but you can't develop that mentality, that attitude and desire. You can guide it. He's developed his technical element now."
Paul and his youngest Rhys will be in Pride Park tonight. Much as it's a game to savour, the tone of pre-match interactions has gone along similar lines.
"He doesn't seem to get nervous," says Paul. "Me and his mother would be nervous. He'll know that I am when I ring him and he'll be like, 'It's ok, I'm fine.'
"He knows it's a big game, he knows there's people watching, but I don't think it seems to bother him at all. He doesn't see the crowd; he sees it like another match in Cabinteely."
The 12-year-old with a clear focus is living out his dream. Don't be surprised if that determination takes him a long way.
Derby County v Manchester Utd, Live, BT Sport 1, 7.45