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INTERVIEW: Time for a new challenge

18 July 2014

Steven Rigg on a dream come true

We caught up with local lad Steven Rigg to talk about his one year deal as he made his first step into the ranks of professional ranks following an unbelievable spell at Frenchfield Park which earned him a post-war scoring record and 64 goals from two blistering seasons.

“I’m absolutely delighted this is done and it’s a bit of a dream come true really,” he said. “I didn’t think I’d get the opportunity to ever do this but I was told on Saturday that I was going to be offered a contract.

“I had to sort a few things out, so I had to keep it quiet, and that has been difficult to do. My friends have been asking me about it every day and it’s been the same with my family. I’ve had to keep denying it and make excuses, so it’ll be nice to talk about it now.”

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he admitted. “I’ve had to leave my job but this is something I really want to do. I’ve been working as a forester for just over two years and I’ve really enjoyed that. 

“It’s time for a new challenge now though. The Trust have been fantastic and I don’t even have to work any notice, or anything like that.”

On getting the news that he was getting a deal, he said: “I was nervous as I waited to go into the manager’s office but I thought I’d done alright in the trial games. 

“It felt really strange when I was told I had a contract and I think I just switched off to everything that was going on. I couldn’t really believe what was being said. It was an unbelievably good feeling.

“I obviously need to say a huge thank you to Penrith for what they’ve done for me. Matt Henney has allowed me to get forward, get in the box and score goals and he’s been superb for me.

“I had to score in the last game I played for them, to break the record, and that rounded off a good couple of seasons. It was a bit different playing against them on Tuesday night because I’ve never had to do anything like that before. It was nice to see everyone and they all said how much they wanted me to do well.

“A lot of them are from Carlisle and they support the club and they just want to see me go on and be a success.

“I’m stepping up a few levels but I think I’ve settled in well. Hopefully I’ll be able to get out on the pitch sooner rather than later. I’m just looking forward to the challenge.”

“With the way things have gone, it’s been a strange summer,” he told us. “A couple of years ago I was paying to play football on a park. Now I’m a professional and it’s hard to take it all in. 

“It has felt like a really long two weeks but it’s been like that since May when I found out I was going to be coming in for the trial. You just want to get on with it. I’m glad it’s all sorted now.

“I was nervous for the first few days of training but I’ve settled in now. Once you start playing all that disappears anyway. The plan is to make a real go of this and make a career of it.

“I’ve come into the game a bit later than everybody else but I think I deserve to be here and I’ve proved I can still score goals when I’ve stepped up at other levels. Hopefully I can do it again.”

On what we can expect to see, he said: “I like to get in the box and try to get on the end of things. I like to score as many goals as I can so I do get forward to support the strikers.

“It was good to get one against Southampton but I probably should have scored three or four more with the number of chances I had in that game. I can’t complain too much because it was a good start for me. 

“Kav is always talking to me and if there are things I’m not doing right he tells me about it. I’m looking forward to learning more off him.”

“I’ve never played at Brunton Park before so I’m really looking forward to that as well,” he added. “It’s amazing to think I could be playing against Sunderland on Tuesday because my brother and my dad are both Sunderland fans. They’ll be looking forward to that game. I played against Blackpool last year, which was a good experience, but Sunderland are obviously a bigger club.”

Looking at the challenge ahead, he told us: “There are a lot of new folk in for this season and everyone has been great. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was invited to come on trial so I made sure I was fit and ready to take it on. 

“I just can’t wait to start properly. I haven’t set any scoring targets yet because I need to get in the team first. 

“It’s been a good couple of years for me and this has rounded things off. Like I say, I want to make a career of it now.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Steven Rigg now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

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