Local lad Danny Grainger on coming to Brunton Park
Penrith-born left back Danny Grainger put pen to paper on a one year deal on Friday afternoon and immediately admitted that the move, to the club he has supported all his life, is almost a dream come true.
“It does feel like I’m coming home, in a way,” he said. “This is a chance to come and play for the team I supported as a kid and I can’t wait to get settled back into the area. It is a bit of a dream come true, to be honest. I’m absolutely buzzing and I can’t wait to get started.”
“It feels a little bit strange in some ways because I came through the youth ranks right the way up to the YTS phase at Carlisle,” he explained. “I know what the club is like and I know what it means to the fans to see their team do well.
“I’m a passionate guy as it is, but getting this chance to play for my own club means a heck of a lot. I first spoke to Kav, Davie Irons and Tony Caig about it a couple of weeks ago and I’m delighted that we’ve now got the deal done. Everything I heard ticked the boxes for the way I think things should be and it’s a new challenge I’m really looking forward to.”
“I think it goes without saying that I was devastated to see what happened to us at the end of last season,” he confirmed. “As far as I’m concerned I’ll be here to play some football, in a league I’ve never played in before, and to do my bit to help to turn things round again.
“It’s definitely a new type of challenge but it’s one I’m relishing. I want to show people what I’m about at the same time as helping Carlisle United get back to where it should be. All in all it’s a big season for me and the club.”
And on the type of player we can expect to see, he said: “I love getting forward, there’s no doubt about that, but first and foremost I’m a defender. If we walk off the pitch and we’ve kept a clean sheet then I’m a very happy person.
“If the situation allows then I will get forward and it’s never a bad thing to chip in with a few goals here and there. Having spoken to the gaffer I think he knows I can do a number of jobs and roles but I suppose I would say I’m an attacking left back at heart. I’ll just be out there to do my best for the team, whatever job it is I’m asked to do.”
“It will be new to me because I’ve been up in Scotland all the way through my career so far,” he said. “I’ve loved every moment of it and I’ve been privileged to play for some great clubs.
“I have great memories from places like Hearts, Gretna and Dundee United but now it’s time for me to make a mark in the English leagues. I’m looking forward to getting on with it. I’m genuinely here to help as much as I can in whatever way that has to be.
“I always set my own goals and targets and if I can hit those at the same time as helping the club to push on then it can only be good for everybody.”
“It’s a great way to start the season as well so we’ve got plenty to look forward to,” he agreed. “I’ve had a good look at the fixtures and it doesn’t get much better than the two home games we’ve got to kick things off.
“It’s a chance to get some momentum going and hopefully, if we do well, it will make every game next season exciting for us all. We have to set out to make sure we’re pushing at the top end of the league from day one."
And United fans will recall that Grainger was with the club last season, ahead of his return to Scotland, so we asked him to explain what had gone on during his few days with the lads.
“I was in training here last summer, for a few days, and I was actually quite keen to get something done,” he told us.
“I spoke to Greg about a few things but a chance to train at Blackpool came up. That wasn’t something I could ignore and Greg told me he had other options he would have to look at.
“That was completely understandable because he wasn’t in a position where he was going to sit around and wait for me to make a decision. We parted on very good terms and I moved on from there.”
“That was then and I’m delighted to say I am here now,” he concluded. “I’ve had a few weeks off and I just wish it was the first day of pre-season so I could meet everyone and get on with it. I can’t even begin to say how much I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I’ll play well and do everyone proud.”