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INTERVIEW: I like to think I’m a player the fans will want to watch

Striker Richie Bennett on joining United

26 July 2017

We caught up with striker Richie Bennett shortly after he put pen-to-paper on his two-year deal with United on Tuesday evening to find out what he wants from his move to Brunton Park.

“As soon as I got the call to say the bid had been accepted the only thing in my mind was that I wanted to come and play for Carlisle," he told us. "Barrow gave me the opportunity to prove myself, similar to what I need to do here next season, so it felt like the right thing to do.

“I obviously heard about the interest a while ago but I like to concentrate on my football so I don’t listen to anything else which is going on. You always hear the rumours and things like that but I tend not to listen to them and just concentrate on my football and scoring goals."

“I loved playing for Barrow and I’ve met some great lads there," he said. "The team spirit is very similar to what I’ve seen here already. I think I owe a lot to Barrow and I’m grateful that they gave me an opportunity. I just know I’m ready for the same here at Carlisle. 

“I’m pleased everything has gone through and I’m looking forward to a good season. I do feel ready to make this step up. I felt ready for it last year when I made the step up to Barrow. That took me into a tough league with some tough teams.

“I think I’ve learned a lot during my time with Barrow but I feel I’ve still got a lot to learn as well. With the coaching staff here I think it’s going to be a good season and I’m really looking forward to learning and progressing while helping the club get to where they want to be."

On what we can expect to see once he crosses the white line, he said: “I like to think I’m a player the fans will want to watch. I try to entertain and bring something different to the game. I want to score goals and create chances out of nothing.

"I can be the aggressive, tall striker that everybody seems to talk about but I can play as well. I want to go and prove myself again. I’ve already trained with the lads and they’ve all been welcoming.

"I know we’ve got a few lads who come from the Manchester area so I’ve already been chatting to a few of them. Everyone at the club has welcomed me in and I feel at home already."

But did he feel any nerves as he was making his way up the M6 to meet his new team mates?

“I didn’t think I would be nervous when I came up but when I arrived it was a bit daunting," he admitted. "It was good type of nervous because it was more excitement than anything else. I’m just really excited to get started.

“Some of the nerves were because I think I’ve always got something to prove, wherever I go and whatever team I’m in. I think I’ve definitely got it in me to come here and prove I can do it at this level, like I did when I went into the Conference last year.

“There are a lot of players who have came through from non-league which does have to give you inspiration, but I tend to focus on myself. I’ll just focus on where I want to be and keep taking little steps towards that.

At the moment I’m just focused on doing well at Carlisle and achieving things with this club ...

Richie Bennett

"I think the aim of every footballer is to play as high as they can. At the moment I’m just focused on doing well at Carlisle and achieving things with this club."

And on what the manager has told him he wants to see, he said: “The main thing the gaffer has said he wants from me is obviously goals. He wants me to get on the end of crosses and make sure I’m always in the box, so basically just to be a big, strong target man.

"To know that a manager really wants you does give you a massive confidence boost. The coaching staff have been watching me and Carlisle are a massive club, so to be able to sign the contract today has been really good. I’m just excited to get out there and play now.

“I know the club just missed out on promotion last year so I hope we can go that one step further this time round. That’s what everyone inside the club wants, as well as the fans. This feels like a club which is ready for that step."

“The Conference is a tough league but League Two will be even tougher," he concluded. "There are some big teams at this level. It’s something I thrive on because when you play big teams at big stadiums I take it as a positive. That sort of pressure is only positive.

“As for targets, I’d love to get a minimum of 20 goals next season. Anything else is a bonus!”

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