Danny Livesey on his time at Brunton Park
Defender Danny Livesey made just under 350 appearances for the Cumbrians in his nine-year stay at Brunton Park and saw just about everything as he came through promotion winning campaigns (complete with dramatic penalty shoot-outs), cup finals, play off semi-finals, ownership and management changes and a host of full-blooded displays which made him a firm fans favourite with the Blue Army.
We caught up with him this week as he waved a fond farewell to the club which kick started his career following his Christmas Eve move from Bolton way back in 2004.
"It does feel strange knowing that I'm not a Carlisle United player any more," he admitted. "I've had a long time to get used to the idea though, to be honest, and it isn't as big a deal as it felt for me at Christmas time just before I went out on loan.
"With the way things went, I don't really count this year as a year I've had with the club. I think I've played a part in about ten games and it's a shame I haven't really been able to contribute to anything that has happened out on the field. There are no hard feelings from me, though, because that's just how football goes sometimes."
"I went in and spoke to Kav before Christmas and it was clear I wasn't part of his plans," he continued. "It was an honest conversation, which I appreciated, and that was fine. I'm the same as any player because I still felt I could do a job for the team.
"I told Kav I was going to train hard and he was fine that. I wanted to be able to go home every day and look at myself in the mirror knowing I'd given it everything I could. It isn't about me, it's about the team, and I always wanted the best for the club. I love the place and I still love it now, even though I've moved on. I've made good friends there and I've got very good friends in the area.
"It did hurt not to be involved because all I want to do is play football. I wanted to be out there doing what I could to help. I knew I wasn't part of the plans but I was desperate for a chance to try to help turn things round. Who knows, the results and outcome might have been the same but I felt ready to be involved.
"Every player is the same. We all think we should play, and I'm no different. When you aren't selected it's something you've just got to take on the chin because it happens all the time in football. Greg [Abbott] didn't play me for a while and Simmo [Paul Simpson] and Neil McDonald did the same. You just get your head down, work hard and make sure you are ready to take your chance when it comes again. I thought that had happened when we beat Notts County and drew with Shrewsbury, but I gave the penalty away against Gillingham and we lost that game.
"Changes were made after that and there was a feeling that Kav wanted to put his stamp on the team. I'll never have a problem with that, because he needs to get his own team together, but I do feel like I could have given something."
"The loan move was a means to an end," he said. "It was a way of getting my name out there and for me to play some football. I didn't want to get to the end of the season and be in the same position as everyone else.
"If you're not playing people start to forget about you because football moves on very quickly. I went to Wrexham and luckily I've been offered something there, so it’s worked out well in the end. That was the whole point of going in the first place. I wanted to impress Wrexham, and anyone else who was watching, and I'm looking at my options now which will hopefully mean that I stay in the game. From a selfish point of view that's the way it had to be."
Looking back at his nine years with the club, he said: "I've absolutely loved my time up there. It's a brilliant club and I've loved every single minute of it. I've got a little trophy cabinet at home and there is the League Two medal, the Conference play-off final medal and a couple of JPT medals. It's a bit heart wrenching to be leaving the club where all that happened but I completely understand that times move on. I've just got to go out and find something else now.
"I still feel like I've got a lot to prove to myself and to everyone else. I've been dropped by a lot of managers and I've always managed to get myself back in the team. Hopefully I can get myself sorted somewhere and play another three or four years at a decent level so that I can show people what I'm about."
"There was a time I could never ever see myself leaving Carlisle," he told us. "I had quite a few offers during my time there and I even went to meet a few managers from other clubs. I talked to them but it was never something I seriously considered. You listen to these things but there's no point in moving on if the time isn't right.
"Having said that, there was a period just before Christmas when I was probably ready to jack it all in. I wasn't in the team and I wasn't enjoying being away from my family. I started to think there had to be more to life.
"I went to Wrexham and fell in love with the game again. The results weren't great but I loved the fact I was part of a team and playing every week. I'm ready to go again next season already and I would be hugely disappointed if I couldn't sort something out, because I've got that love for the game back.
"That's down to the fact it was exciting to go to Wrexham and be a part of a new club. I love the challenge of going into a new place and winning people over. Players are the same at every club, they talk to you and welcome you, but you're never really part of it until you've played well out on the pitch. Once that has happened you fit right into the group and luckily that's how it went for me with Wrexham."
for part two of this interview.