Paul Thirlwell on another year at Brunton Park
In the first of a two-part interview, club captain Paul Thirlwell spoke to us as he looks forward to another season at Brunton Park.
“It’s always nice to have it done,” he said. “I think everyone was a bit uncertain towards the end of the season about how the contract side of things was going to go so it was nice to finally get the offer.
“I’m just really happy that I’m going to be staying for another year. I don’t think that was ever going to be an issue because if you’re going to leave a club it has to be for the right reasons.”
“If I’m honest, I didn’t really want to speak to anybody else,” he revealed. “Obviously you have to be aware that you’ll have to look around if an offer doesn’t come, but I had no intentions of looking into it off my own back.
“I wanted to wait and see what Carlisle United wanted to do. Thankfully they were happy to give me another year and I’m more than happy to stay. I think it makes a big difference to the whole situation if you want to stay somewhere and that’s certainly the case with me.”
But, with talk of a coaching as well as a playing role on the cards next season, we wondered what the reliable midfielder wanted for himself from the next twelve months.
“I think the gaffer has been saying recently that he wants to add a bit more youth and energy to the team,” he told us. “It’s an exciting time for everyone when new players are coming in and, as we all know, I don’t fall into either of those two categories, so I’ll play the game in a different way and hope I can continue to add something.
“I do enjoy the coaching side of it and it’s something I would like to develop while I’m still here. I’ve completed my UEFA B Licence and I will be looking to do the A Licence next.
“That’s difficult to do when you’re still heavily involved on the playing side of it and that’s where my focus will be until the gaffer tells me otherwise. I think I’ve got myself to a reasonable standard with my coaching and it’s something I want to pursue.
“However, as I say, I’m coming back in June as a player and that has to be at the forefront of my mind. I need to make sure I’m fit and ready and any coaching I can do along the way will only be if it will benefit the team or the club.”
“My aim on the pitch has to be to play as many games and to stay as injury free as I can,” he added. “Every player will be looking at the first game when the fixtures come out and we will all want to be involved.
“Last season was disappointing, we know that, and I think we’ve had our say about that now. Whether it’s the manager, the players, the fans or the media, we’ve gone over and over it.
“I think we’re at the point where we have to learn the lessons from it and make sure we move on and push forward. If we get our positive heads back on there is no reason why we can’t be back up and battling at the top end of things.
“We’ve shown recently that we can put cup runs together and we can challenge in the top half, and that’s where we need to get back to.”
for part two of this interview.