Keith Curle on Newcastle pair Macaulay Gillesphey and Alex Gilliead
Manager Keith Curle secured the loan services of Newcastle United duo Macaulay Gillesphey and Alex Gilliead back in September and the pair went on to become firm crowd favourites as they settled quickly in to life at Brunton Park.
The end of season player meetings, held on Monday afternoon, brought a thank you and a goodbye for what had been a successful spell from the gaffer ... and also more than a hint in the press conference which followed that the Brunton Park doors are far from closed on a return for the pair, should the opportunity arise.
“I’ve already spoken to Alex Gilliead and Macaulay Gillesphey,” he revealed. “I’ve told them the best thing for their continued progression would be to have a minimum of another six months with us. That could even potentially be another year over here.
“As I’ve said before, the work they’ve done and the way they’ve adapted to league football could mean that the option to do that is taken away from us. I’ve expressed an interest with the players and their representatives so it’s down to them and what they want to do next.”
Five goals in 41 appearances for striker Gilliead, and two goals in 27 appearances for defender Gillesphey, demonstrated an encouraging start to life in competitive football for the emerging youngsters and new contract offers from the Magpies were the reward for their efforts with the Cumbrians over the course of an eventful campaign.
“I’ve told them that what they can’t afford to do now is to be at their parent club and not getting games,” Curle said. “I don’t see that being good for their progression if it becomes the case.
“They live fairly local, being from Newcastle, so this has been a good move for them. A move further away can be daunting for young lads for a number of reasons, so we’ve said that we would be interested in offering them the chance to come back to a good club, with a good playing surface, which will help them to develop even further. It’ll be interesting to see where that goes.
“I’d like to think we’ve looked after them very well and they’ve both been very thankful for the opportunity we gave them. As I say, it might not be the end of the story with them.”
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