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CONTRACTS: Experienced player joins the Blues

13 January 2017

Defender/midfielder Gary Liddle heads to Cumbria

Carlisle United have today signed the versatile and experienced player Gary Liddle on an 18-month deal which keeps him at Brunton Park until the summer of 2018.

Liddle, 30, was also a target for Carlisle boss Keith Curle during the January 2016 transfer window, with the manager finally getting his man in time for this weekend’s home game against Morecambe.

The versatile player, who can play on both flanks of the back four and across the midfield, started his career with the Boro Academy and earned a professional contract when he broke through the youth ranks.

He moved to Hartlepool in 2006 and made over 250 appearances in his six-year stay, bagging 21 goals along the way. Curle took him to Notts County in 2012 and he played every minute of his first campaign with the club, equalling a long-standing club record.

Bradford City was his next stop in the summer of 2014 and he joined Chesterfield on transfer deadline day last year, where he made 46 appearances and scored once before making the switch across to Cumbria.

Manager Keith Curle said: “He’s a player I tried to bring to the football club last season. Unfortunately we missed out to a team at a higher level who also had a manager Gary had worked with before.

“The temptations were there for him to go and ply his trade at a higher level. Things haven’t worked out at that football club but my opinion hasn’t changed. I thought it was an opportunity to bring another piece of the jigsaw puzzle to Brunton Park.”

On what we can expect to see, he said: “He’s got an impeccable character and he’s a good professional. He’s got good ability and a good understanding of the game, but he’s also got a good willingness to keep improving.

“He leads by example, he enjoys doing the horrible side of the game and he can also play football and score goals. He’s got a defensive mentality, he spots danger, he can handle a football and he knows how I want to play.

“I think we needed to add a bit of quality and that’s what Gary brings to the squad. He’s been the captain of a League One club, he’s got League One ability and League One characteristics, and ultimately he’s got a hunger and a desire to be back at that level in a very short period of time. That mirrors the mindset of the coaching staff and the players in the group we’ve already assembled.”

This deal remains subject to the clearance of all relevant paperwork.

Liddle will wear squad number 28.

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