Youth boss Alan Moore on six months at Brunton Park
Academy manager Alan Moore took a look back at his first six months with the club and spoke to us about what he wants to see going forward as the focus switches to the 2014/15 campaign.
"On my opinion we are only at the start of the process with the academy side of things," he said. "When I came in I knew it wouldn't happen overnight, but we've definitely made a good start with it all.
"We've taken in a good crop of players who I am really happy with. We're still working on getting another player in, at this moment in time, but the players now signed have bought into everything we're trying to do. You can see that in their performances in training and in games."
"The last six months have been testing for all of the full time academy staff because we've had the EPPP to work on," he told us. "We still haven't had the results of that yet, but we should get them in the next month or so.
"We were all hands to the pump with that for the first couple of months I was here. I've been trying to see all of the players and get to know the part time coaches as much as I can as part of that. Eventually I want to get to the stage where I know every single player in our academy. I'm not very good with names, so it will take time, but we want to make sure we become one big family all the way from the under 9s to the first team."
"There are still things I want to do but you've got to assess things before you start to think about making changes," he said. "I like to make sure everyone has an opportunity to have an input into things. The players have got a big say in what we do and how we train, for example. They get an opinion on a match day because we have to remember these lads aren't daft. They know where things are going well and where they aren't.
"I must admit that I'm looking forward to starting next season with my own group. I did the induction night with the new lads a few weeks ago and you can see they're all keen and enthusiastic. Getting a scholarship is a brilliant achievement for them because there are so many kids that fall away. We'll get them in and they'll hopefully enjoy coming to work every day. The aim isn't for it to be a two year scholarship, we want it to be the start of ten or fifteen years at Carlisle United."
"We have a philosophy here of one to nine in ten years," he confirmed. "We've made a really good step towards that with the number of lads from the academy who will be in the youth team next season. To have six lads coming through from the under 16s is a great starting point. We've shown them the vision of the club and they know they could be the future of Carlisle United, if they continue to do things properly. They've now got to take that challenge on and work as hard as they can.
"Although the lads have now left us for the summer break the work doesn't stop for any us. If I'm being honest, coming into work is a bit of a rest for me because I've got three little girls at home. Looking after 18 players is easy compared to having the three girls!
"As I say, it doesn't stop. We've planned for next season already and we've got the training sessions pretty much mapped out. I'm very methodical in how I plan things and hopefully it will all come together for us so that we can push on once we all come back together in July."
And on making sure the young lads stay in focus following the disappointment of the first team's relegation to League Two, he said: "I've been involved in a youth team when the first team has been relegated before, and it's my job to make sure it doesn't affect anything we do.
"It does have an impact, of course it does, but you have to try and keep that to a minimum on a day to day basis. We try and keep them as far away as possible on one side of it, but we obviously want them to be as close as possible in terms of how the first team play on the other side of things. It's about learning every day and every situation becomes part of that."
"When we come back in July it will be about who we have to play and how we take the academy forward," he commented. "They're actually restructuring the youth leagues at this moment in time and I think we're going to end up playing every team twice this year. That's something for us to look forward to. Right now we only play teams like Walsall once, because they're slightly further away, but I would enjoy playing them twice because they're a good side. I think that will make things fair and more balanced.
"We've got some decent pre-season games coming up before all that kicks off. We're playing Blackburn, Bolton, Sunderland and Manchester United so there are some good tests for the lads. I'm already looking forward to them coming back so I can see how fit they are. Ive told them to go away and make sure they have a good break, but they need to be ready to play as soon as they come back. They can't use pre-season to get fit. They need to be ready to step things up to the next level from the very first day."
to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel.
Click HERE to see the full interview on United Player.