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INTERVIEW: It feels like a club on the up

10 June 2016

New arrival Jamie Devitt on his move up north

New arrival Jamie Devitt admitted this week that he’s looking forward to the challenge of a promotion push with his new side as he looks ahead to what he hopes will be a successful first season here at Brunton Park.

“It feels good to be here,” he said. “I met the gaffer last week, he showed me round the place and I was really impressed, so I’m delighted that it’s over the line.

“I’ve spoken to a good few clubs over the summer but as soon as I heard the manager’s plans for next year coming here was the only real option for me. It’s clear that the focus here for next season is promotion and that’s what I want.”

“Promotion was the main thing the manager talked about when I first met him,” he revealed. “I’d say to do that we even need to be looking beyond the play-offs and into the top three. A club of this size should be higher than it is and we’re all hoping we can make it happen.

“When I spoke to some of the other clubs they didn’t clarify what their aims were. Keith was very clear from the outset that the sole aim here is promotion. He talked about the fact it doesn’t matter to him how we do it, whether it’s by scraping through the play-offs or by winning the league by 20 points. It can be goal difference or edging it by a point – it just doesn’t matter as long as we get it.

“I want to be playing in the higher leagues and I really think we have a chance of doing that next year. The manager has been very persuasive with that argument and, to be honest, next year is a massive season for me on a personal level. 

“I think Carlisle United deserve to be in the league above and I know the gaffer doesn’t want to be in this division. I don’t either and hopefully this will be a good fit, and we’ll all be able to enjoy a promotion together.”

On the manager’s comments that he his summer recruitment policy is centred on signing players he knows he can work with, he said: “Keith is obviously well known in the game and it’s nice to know someone like that wants you.

“I’m really looking forward to working with him and it’s a challenge I’m more than up for. He’s already told me that nobody is guaranteed anything here because there’s real competition for places. All we can do is try to impress him and then take it from there.”

Looking back at his performance at Brunton Park last season, which saw him clapped off the pitch by the home fans when he was substituted in the second half, he said: “That stuck with me for the rest of the season. It had never happened to me before because it usually goes the other way with home fans when you’re with the away team.

“It was a special moment when you think about it. It probably did play a part in the decision I made to come here. Hopefully that was the start of a good relationship with the fans and I’m looking forward to meeting them again.”

“Overall it does feel like a club on the up,” he commented. “Some good players have already been signed and I’m sure they’re here to enjoy a bit of success as well. The signings tell you that the manager wants to be promoted and I think we have players here who can get us out of the league.

“I’m just here to help with that in any way I can. In terms of where I play I can drop in anywhere behind the front men. I’ve played deeper than that in the past as well, because the key for me is getting on the ball and making things happen. 

“It doesn’t bother me where I am to do that. I just look to be an influence and to create chances. I’ve had a brief chat with the manager about it and he knows what I can do. The fact is that if I don’t do well in pre-season I won’t deserve to be in the team anyway. 

“I’m hoping that won’t be the case and that I’ll do enough to make a position my own. The job for me is to prove I’m worthy of that and I can’t wait for when I’ll be stepping up to that challenge.”

On his two-years at Morecambe, he said: “It wasn’t easy to leave because I had a good time there. I think I can say I’ve played consistently the last two seasons and I think I’ve improved. Hopefully that’ll stay the same next season and we’ll be up at the right end of the division all the way through.

“I had a lot of assists but, for you to get an assist it means someone has to score the goal in the first place. There are a lot of good players there and I do wish them well because it’s a great club. However my focus now has to be on Carlisle and on helping us to have a successful season.

“The fans down there have sent loads of thank you messages and they’ll always have a place with me. It’s a club I will still look out for even though I’ll obviously be giving everything for my new team now that I’ve moved up here.”

 “This is a great opportunity for me because my career has been up and down so far,” he concluded. “I’ve settled down a lot now, and I have a little family which means I’m working for them and not just myself. 

“The focus is very much on my football and on doing as well as I can. Settling at Morecambe brought the best out of me and I want it to be the same here. It’s a new chapter and I just can’t wait to be getting on with it.”

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