Part one of a three part interview with Eric Kinder
Departing youth coach Eric Kinder spoke to the official site today in what was an emotional interview ahead of his trip down to Blackburn to take up the post as U21 and Reserve team coach at Ewood Park.
"One of the toughest decisions I've had to make in my professional career was when I decided to leave Blackburn and come to Carlisle in 2006," he said. "The good thing for me is that it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made.
"I now have this situation and I have to say that the decision to leave here to go back to Blackburn has been twice as hard for me to make. I've really enjoyed working and living in Carlisle and it isn't something I am finding easy to leave behind at all."
Kinder joined the backroom staff at Brunton Park back in 2006 and has since earned a glowing reputation as a coach who is both able to spot and develop raw talent. And with plans already in place for continuing the good work next season he admitted that there has been some deep soul-searching over the course of the last few weeks.
"From the initial moment Blackburn asked if they could talk to Carlisle about speaking to me I've been thinking about it all day every day, to be honest," he told us. "I won't say it's put a dampener on my holidays but it's made them much less enjoyable. I've been thinking about whether it's the right thing to do.
"I changed my mind three or four times, if not more. Something would happen to make me change my mind back again, from whatever decision was made, and it got to a point where I thought I owed Greg [Abbott], the chairman and John [Nixon] a decision so they could get on with planning for next season.
"Blackburn were also pressing me for a decision from their end, but everyone at Carlisle said I could take as long as I needed. It was tough - really tough - but it's done now."
"I've done it for professional reasons because if it was all about personal feelings I wouldn't be going anywhere,” he admitted.
“I love living in Carlisle and I love working in Carlisle, but I'm ambitious and I think if I don't take the offer then I'd end up regretting it.
“It came down to being about the role I have been offered. In terms of career development, it’s the next step up for me. I started at Preston with the U16 age group and then went to Blackburn to work with 16-year-olds.
“Here at Carlisle I have looked after the U18 side so the opportunity to coach the U21s at the club I supported is the next rung up the ladder. I think you have to be ambitious in any line of work – the day that stops is the day it’s probably time to do something else completely.
“It is exciting to know I'll be working at that level and who knows what will happen after that? If I do well then I might want to go on and be a manager myself, but that's in the back of my mind right now. If it doesn't work out then at least I can say I've had a go rather than sit around thinking about how things could have worked out.”
“My relationship with Gary [Bowyer] makes it a little bit easier to say yes,” he said. “Blackburn is a completely different club to what it was when I was last there and if it had been anybody else but Gary I probably would have said no.
“He's been a massive influence on my coaching career, as a colleague and a friend, and we've stayed in contact since the day I left. We worked well together when he did the under 18s and I think we can be a success together.
“He's got a great work ethic and he's still young for a manager, so I think he'll have a bright future. He's been given reassurances from the owners that they're going to settle the club down and I hope that happens, so he gets a bit of time to get it right.”
for part two of this interview.
for part three of this interview.