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INTERVIEW: I love playing football here

30 June 2015

Striker Derek Asamoah on his latest deal with Carlisle United

Striker Derek Asamoah spoke to us about signing a six-month deal with the club.

"I'm happy to be with Carlisle United again," he said. "We had a target last year and I thought I played my part, with the rest of the lads, in helping us secure our league status. 

"It was job well done last year, but this year will be completely different. It's a new challenge and we've got a new target so I'm happy I've signed and that I'm part of it." 

"I love playing football here," he told us. "I love playing for the manager and we've got some great lads here. I did have a couple of other options to consider but I always knew I wanted to come back here. 

"The manager has a lot of confidence in me, and he always speaks highly of me, so it was just a matter of coming up to actually sign the contract after we'd ironed a few things out.

"For me it doesn't matter if the contract is for six or 12 months. If I want to be here I'll be here, because I know my performance will merit it. If anything changes during that six months it's in my favour as well, so it works for both parties. Like I say, whether it's six months or 12 months, I'm just looking forward to doing my job." 

"I love playing in front of the fans and always give everything for the club," he continued. "I'll play until I can't walk and they've shown me tremendous support, and I just want to repay them with my performances. 

"I enjoyed the Burton game last season because it's a side of me people don't often get to see. I'm more of a flair player, and I think I have good ability on the ball, so people don't tag me with the other side of the game. I can do both sides, I like to do the pretty side when things are going well, but I'll put a shift in when it's needed."

On the second half of last season, he said: "I'd had experience of a relegation battle before when I was at Chester City. I went there when they were bottom of the table, with 16 or 17 games to play, and we managed to stay up. 

"I think that experience helped me and I was able to pass that on to some of the lads last season. There was always a belief in my mind that if we put a couple of results together, and I was in the team, I was never going to let this club go down. That's part of the reason why I put in such a shift. I know how much playing in the league means to the fans.

"Next season is a fresh start for everybody. It's all about focusing on the target and making sure we have a different mentality. We'll go into the season with a positive attitude and hopefully we can achieve what we set out to achieve." 

"I think my motivation to keep going comes because I found it so hard to get into football when I was younger," he explained. "I didn't sign a professional contract until I was 21, so I was outside looking in, and I know what that's like. 

"I wasn't in a youth set up so I know what not playing feels like. That's why I want to enjoy it for as long as I can. I still love the game and I like pushing myself. I love a challenge and if I could play until I was 60 - I would!" 

"I wouldn't say I enjoy pre-season but it's definitely needed," he said. "It's not the nice part but it's important to get through it. Everyone would prefer to be playing football but you have to do this side of it to make sure you get everything out of it.

"My aim is to get into the team in August and that's what everyone will be trying to do. We've brought a lot of good players in so competition will be tough. I have belief in myself that I can get into the team and that's what I'm focusing on."

And on new arrival Jabo Ibehre, he said: "I actually went to the same secondary school as Jabo [Ibehre] so it was a big surprise when I saw him. 

"We lost contact after school but it was great catching up with him. We obviously already have that bond off the field so hopefully we can bring that onto the pitch as well. 

"He's a great lad and I'm looking forward to trying to strike up a partnership with him. We've got a lot of different kinds of players here now so the manager has got a lot of options. If I'm playing it won't matter what the pair is. I'll be out there to do a job."

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

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