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INTERVIEW: An opportunity I feel I've earned

15 June 2015

Defender Tom Miller on making the move to Brunton Park

We spoke to defender Tom Miller about his move to Cumbria shortly after he put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the club on Thursday afternoon.

“I’m very pleased to have everything agreed and I’m just looking forward to the season starting now,” he said. “It’s been a fairly long process in me getting here because I knew Carlisle had first approached Lincoln about a loan deal back in December.

“Lincoln wanted to keep me at that stage but we were able to speak again once the season had finished. I’d been offered a new deal down there so it was just a case of deciding what the best thing for me to do was. We’ve kept talking all through the summer and I know this is definitely the right move for me.”

“I have to be honest and say it was a big decision,” he admitted. “I don’t know the area at all and that’s the only thing that had me slightly worried. I had to make sure my girlfriend was happy with it all as well, because she’s never lived away from home before. The good thing there was that she loves the Lake District so that was always going to help.

“There were a few things for us to think about but it all changed to positive thoughts as soon as I got up here. It’s a beautiful area of the country and I’ve been shown round the club. The manager told me what he wants and what the philosophy is all about and, having heard that and seen everything that goes with it, I couldn’t wait to sign. 

“The gaffer has been very clear in what he’s said and I can see he knows what he wants from his players. He said that he wants this club to get back to where it should be and I like that. I know I’m going to have to be on top of my game all season if I want a starting place because there’s going to be competition here for the shirt. Everything I’ve heard has been positive and I can tell this is a good place to be right now.”

“In terms of making this move, I think the time is right for me on a personal level,” he told us. “Carlisle United is a Football League club and that has been a big part of the decision making process I’ve been through. I want this opportunity to prove to myself, and to everybody else, that I’m good enough for it.” 

“My time at Lincoln was really good and it’s a fantastic club to work for,” he said. “It was always going to be hard to leave, particularly with how well it went for me there, but I’m at a stage of my career where I feel ready to push on. My mum follows social media a lot and she has kept me up to date with the reaction. It’s been nice to hear that the Lincoln fans have been wishing me well because everything about my time there was positive. 

“League football is the next logical step with the age I’m at now. I could have stayed at Lincoln but I didn’t want to wait any longer. Like I say, knowing about the offer that was made back at Christmas time has made it a frustrating wait. 

“I’ve kept doing my best for Lincoln but it did feel strange to know this was in the background. A few other bits and pieces of interest came in but Carlisle United was always at the front of my mind. That period when you’re out of contract is difficult anyway because you know things can change. It’s a massive relief to finally be in this position because now I can concentrate on what I need to do for my new club.

“Once I knew about the interest up here I started to keep an eye on what was going on with results and everything. It was good to see the team finish the season well and I think that gives us a real platform now.”

On what he wants to achieve, he said: “I’m not coming here just to go through the motions. I want to prove myself as a League Two player this season and hopefully I’ll push on with the club further than that. 

“As I say, I believe I’m more than good enough and I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure I do well. My preferred position is as a right back and I think that’s what the manager has seen as well. 

“I can play at centre half and I’ve also had the odd spell in midfield. However, first and foremost I’m a right back but, like any player, you’re happy if you’re picked and helping the team in whatever role you’re given.

“I’m the type of player who likes to be involved and I don’t mind a tackle or two. Defensively I’m solid in one against one situations and I’m good in the air. I got six goals from right back last season and I hope I’ll be able to chip in with a few here as well.

“It sounds daft, but I’ve got a long throw which brought us a good few goals at Lincoln. It probably also sounds boring to say, but I think it’s an asset. I like to think I can use the ball when I’ve got it and hopefully all of that will come together for me once we get started here.”

And on meeting up with his new team mates at the end of this month, he said: “I’m really looking forward to pre-season. It’s always nice to have a break but I think everyone itches to be back and at it again.

“I’m not a fan of the running sessions, but it’s all part of it and it has to be done. I enjoy working hard so once I’m into it I’ll be fine.

“It’s about settling in quickly and showing people what I’m about. It’s an opportunity I feel I’ve earned and a chance I’m determined to take.”

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