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INTERVIEW: Felt like I was coming home

14 November 2014

Keeper Dan Hanford on his new deal with the club

Keeper Dan Hanford agreed a new deal this week which keeps him at Brunton Park until the summer of 2016. 

Hanford, 23, teamed up with United one week ahead of pre-season training and has made 9 appearances for the Blues since making his debut in the 1-0 win over Tranmere at the end of September.

The big keeper spent time with Hereford, Rochdale and with Floriana in Malta before coming to Carlisle during the summer.

We caught up with him on Thursday to get his reaction to the news.

“It’s nice for me to have this signed,” he said. “It’s great that the club have shown a bit of confidence in me because I’m enjoying it here. 

“The last few months have been absolutely massive for me because I came to a club that was initially looking for a loan keeper. To come in and then be offered a new deal is huge. 

"I know I need to keep doing what I’m doing because there is potential for Mark [Gilliespie] to come back sooner rather than later. I need the gaffer to keep seeing me as his number one so I’ll train hard and make sure I pick up more consistency during the games.

“I was quite surprised when the manager talked to me about a new deal because I was contracted until the end of the season. That shows they are seeing me more as a number one now and signing it wasn’t an issue for me. I was happy to get it done.”

“I knew it was going to be hard to get into the team when I first signed because they rate Mark [Gillespie] very highly,” he told us. “He will be looking to get back as soon as he can so I need to stay focused on what I’m doing and make sure I’m helping the team to climb the table.

“Mark’s injury has been unfortunate for him but that’s the kind of break the number two needs so that he gets a game. Mark has been fantastic for me. We still have that goalkeeper union with him and Tony Caig and he’s always there before the games to wish me luck. 

"He’s there to talk to if I need him and that’s good to know. Him getting fit will provide more competition and that can only be good for both of us.”

“I’ve been through some tough times at other clubs but it felt like I was coming home when I came here,” he said. “The gaffer and Caigy have given me this extension and that’s 100% positive as far as I’m concerned. 

“One thing the gaffer has changed with us all is that he wants everybody to be hungry. He wants to get the best out of us so that we go out for every game to give 110%. I’ve been quite happy with my form, even with some of the ‘off’ parts I’ve had on the pitch. 

"I have to keep going and keep learning from the things I do and I know a few fans got a little bit anxious with my kicking the other week. That doesn’t affect me because it’s important that I move on and do my job.

“The best place to be doing that is out on the pitch. You can train well and go through role plays from Monday to Friday but there’s nothing like being in a match situation where you have fans on your back and you need the three points. It’s a great experience and I want it to continue.”

“We’re all looking forward to the Accrington game,” he confirmed. “The way we played last week would be a win on any other day and no team in this league will cope with it if we play that way all the time.”

And on his participation in the Movember campaign, he said: “It’s going quite well at the moment. I’m a fair haired lad so it isn’t showing up as much as it could be. 

“I think it's a fantastic cause. I have friends in football who have suffered from cancer – Joe Thompson and Chris Todd – so it’s great to be doing something for this. Every little helps so if the fans can donate we would really appreciate it. 

“It is a really good cause and hopefully we can do our bit to help fight cancer and to help the specialists find a cure just that little bit quicker.”

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

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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