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INTERVIEW: A great club and a good opportunity

2 July 2015

New signing Alexander McQueen on signing for Carlisle United

New arrival Alexander McQueen spoke to us about his move up north as he got ready for his second session of pre-season training with his new team mates.

“It all came about when I got a call from my ex-Tottenham reserve team manager Ugo Ehiogu,” he said. “He told me there might be an opportunity for me here at Carlisle. I was excited about that so I spoke to my agent and he got in touch with Lee Dykes.

“Two weeks after that I was invited up to the club, and I then went away to go on holiday. I had a vague idea about the location but I don’t think you get much choice over that in football. It’s part of the job and I think this is a great club and a good opportunity for me.

“I got another call while I was on holiday to tell me there was going to be a contract offer. I couldn’t wait to get back and get up here to sort it out.

“There were a couple of other options being discussed but I felt this was the best one for me. Football wise I think I’m going to give myself the best chance of taking the next step by coming up here.”

“I think I’ve probably got something to prove to myself and that’s why I wanted to come here,” he added. “The manager thinks I’m ready for this challenge and I now need to show him, and me, that we’re both right about that. 

“My contract at Tottenham was one year, with an option, but the club decided not to take that option up. For me that has probably made the situation better, to be honest. It means I can start to push for first team football and that’s exactly what I aim to do here.

“I’m still only 20 years old but I feel like I’m ready to be playing regularly. Every footballer is the same. We all want to play at the highest level we can and at the earliest age we can.

“I’m very grateful to Keith Curle because he was very clear on what he wanted when he spoke to me. He wants us to play good football and I think the signings he’s making reflect that. He’s told me if I have any worries or questions then all I have to do is knock on the door. It’s good to know that’s the case.”

On what we can expect to see, he said: “My strengths are speed, strength, energy and delivery of the ball into the box. I’ve played in just about every position for Tottenham, from right back to centre forward, but I would say my strongest positions are left back and right back.

“This is a new challenge I am very excited about. My main aim is to get regular first team football and hopefully be a good player. I want to play at the highest level, hopefully with this club. You never know, if I keep working hard then one day I could be back in the Premier League.

“I think League Two will be different physically to what I’ve been used to in the Development Squad. I’m sure it’ll be a faster pace and the fact that every game matters will make it much more enjoyable. You can get a shelling off the manager if you haven’t played well in the U21s but the fact is that it doesn’t really matter. I’m coming to an environment now where it really does matter, and I want that.”

“My first impressions of the place are really good,” he confirmed. “It’s a big club, it’s a nice place and the training facilities are excellent. The pitch is nice ... but the pre-season running is very hard.

“I’m going to use pre-season to try to impress people and hopefully I’ll be involved for the first game in August.”

Looking back at his time with Spurs, he said: “I joined the academy at Tottenham later than usual so I went in at U15 level. I played there for the scholars and the reserves but, as I say, I think the time was probably right for a move.

“It was great to come through with people like Nabil Bentaleb and Harry Kane because you get to see what players at the highest levels do. You can judge yourself against it and you see that they all work very hard. That’s why they are where they are now. 

“One of the main things I picked up from them was that if they had an off day, in training or wherever, it was never because of lack of effort. The attitude from them is to work hard and get as much as they can from every session. I think that’s a really good outlook to have.”

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