Leon McSweeney on coming to Brunton Park
New signing Leon McSweeney spoke to us shortly after he'd signed his four-month deal with the club.
"It has all happened quite quickly," he admitted. "I think that's the way things are going in football at the moment. I've known Greg [Abbott] has been interested for a while and as soon as I got the call I made my way up here.
"It's been a difficult summer for me. I haven't experienced anything like this where I've been on trial at clubs without getting a deal. I would never have thought that I'd have to wait until the end of the transfer window to get a club but, with the financial restrictions in place, it seems to be the way the game is going.
"I'm thankful that I've been given a chance to play League One football again and hopefully I can come in and improve the fortunes of the team. There's a lot of insincerity in the industry at the moment, if I'm honest. You get told that if you do well in a trial you'll get a contract, then it comes to the start of the season and you're told there's no money there. It's a bit of a waste of time as a player because clubs have all of the negotiation power now.
"You have to accept that going on trial is something you're going to have to do so you can sustain a career in the game, but it can be frustrating at times. That makes it even better that I've managed to get the next couple of months sorted because it means I can get my head down and get on with playing football. That's all I want to do. It's difficult to train on your own and just have to watch the scores come in on a Saturday. Every footballer wants to be involved and it's hugely difficult when you aren't."
"I feel like I'm at the peak of my career and I have a lot to offer the team," he insisted. "I'm chomping at the bit to get some game time and to really push on. I like to think I'm a reliable player and I'll always give my all for the team. Managers usually play me and keep me in the side because they know I do a job, and that's something I'm very proud of.
"I've played a lot of football at this level with Leyton Orient and Hartlepool so I must be doing something right. Hopefully I can come and do that here and help the team improve. I think once we get a win on the board we'll really be able to start looking up the table."
"I mainly played as a winger at Hartlepool," he continued. "At Orient I played as a full back and I actually played up front and in the hole when I played in League One with Stockport. As long as I'm in the team I don't really mind where I play. Hopefully I can nail down a position over the next couple of months. However, a lot of teams are in a position where they don't have the biggest squad so a player like myself can come in handy."
As to how the move developed, he said: "Greg [Abbott] asked me to come in and train yesterday and the conversations I had with him were very refreshing. He was very up front and honest with me, which is something I really appreciate. I trained well and I think it was good for Greg to have a look at me and make sure I was fit. In this type of situation he can't afford to bring in players who can't play. I was happy that I proved that I was ready and I'm really looking forward to the challenge now."
"I think in this game you always have something to prove to yourself," he admitted. "We were unlucky at Leyton Orient last year not to get into the play-offs and I was really disappointed about that. My personal aim has always been to play as high as I can. I think that's important as a player because otherwise you're just going to be treading water.
"This is a great opportunity for me to prove that I'm still a good player and all I want is to do well for Carlisle United. The lads seem like a great bunch. I met them all in the house the night before I trained so I was thrown in at the deep end a little bit. It's a great way to get to know everybody and there's a lot of familiar faces in there who I've played against before.
"Even at this stage I can see that the whole club knows that things need to improve. It's still very early in the season and people probably need to have a bit of perspective regarding how things have gone so far. The last couple of league results have been decent and it looks like we're close to turning the corner. Hopefully I can bring a bit more experience to the team and we can start looking up the table.
"I'm really looking forward to the game on Saturday now. If I'm in the team I'll give everything and I hope that the fans will see that. It's always nice to make your debut at home I'm itching to get out there so we can move onwards and upwards."
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