As the club reflected on a hugely successful Fun Day this week we spoke to some of the organisers and attendees to get their reaction.
"We were really pleased with the turnout because a lot of work has gone into pulling everything together," organising committee member Suzanne Kidd explained. "The weather really helped but the support from the fans was fantastic.”
And on the thinking behind the event, she said: “We received our family excellence feedback and a best practice guide off the Football League at the end of the season and that had a lot of good pointers on where we could improve.
“We carried out our own survey on what fans thought of the match day experience and we also received a comprehensive set of question and answer results from the local paper.
“A lot of the feedback from all of those sources was about us becoming more community based and family friendly, so we thought that a day where we opened the doors to everyone was one way of taking a step towards that.”
"It was really important to us that we made the whole community feel part of the club and I think we've achieved that with this event,” she told us. “Getting families and children involved is a big part of what we're trying to do going forward and this has been the perfect way to kick that off."
Managing director John Nixon echoed those thoughts.
"We're absolutely delighted with the amount of people who came to see us," he said. "The whole day was fantastic.
"It's all down to the girls in the office and I'm really pleased that it went so well for them. There were probably more people there through the course of the day than we usually get at a home game, so let’s hope they liked what they saw and they’ll come down during the season.
"We've been criticised for not engaging with the fans so it has been good to be able to do this. The really nice thing is that everyone was able to walk in without paying a penny, which doesn't happen very often these days.
"We just felt it was really important for us to engage with the community and make them feel like a part of the club. Every single person I've spoken to has only had good things to say about the day and I think it’s been good for the staff and the fans to be able to come together in this way.”
News & Star Carlisle United reporter Jon Colman said: "We saw from the survey we conducted that a lot of people said the club needed to engage with the fans and I think the fun day was a brilliant way to do it.
“A lot of people said they felt there was quite a bit of distance between the club and the supporters and I think this will definitely help to reduce that.
“There has been criticism of the club from a lot of different people but I think this event shows that the people behind the scenes have taken it on board and they are trying to do something about it. That can only ever be positive.
"We now have to hope that the optimism and positivity surrounding the fun day transfers into the season so the club can push this sort of thing forward even further in the future.”
Midfielder Paul Thirlwell said: "We were overwhelmed by the turnout and all the credit has to go to the girls in the office who organised it.
"Training with the fans watching was fun for us all. I think the lads trained well and it's good to be able to give people a chance to see how we do the things they don't usually get to see.
"It was good to see that everyone was so positive about the club. I think the weather brings that out in people and it seems like the fans are really looking forward to the new season now. That’s exactly what we wanted to achieve."
A special thank you also came from Foxy’s Restaurant for the assistance they received in making their venue look extra special for the day.
“The fans who came up to see us were really impressed with what they saw,” events manager Irine Percival commented. “They got to try some of the food and to see the tables set out for different types of events.
“Hopefully some of them will come back to see us, whether that’s on a match day or for their own special celebration.”
Thank you to the following from everyone at Foxy’s Restaurant:
+ Best Wishes – Balloons for all occasions from Denton Street in Carlisle for the fantastic balloons they made available.
for two galleries of images from the Fun Day event.