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INTERVIEW: When the opportunity comes you've got to grab it

Mark Ellis looks ahead to next season with United

9 June 2017

We caught up with defender Mark Ellis to get his thoughts on a successful season with Forest Green and his hopes for the new campaign.

“It was brilliant to be involved in the promotion at Forest Green,” he admitted. “One of the targets when I went there was to do what I could to help get the club into the Football League for the first time. There's no better way to do that than to win at Wembley.

“You obviously want to finish at the top but you can’t beat a game at Wembley. The atmosphere was fantastic, it’s a massive stadium and a great achievement to play there."

“It was important for me to get those regular games," he told us. "At the start of the season I was in and out of the team, so I had a good chat with the gaffer and he was happy for me to go out on loan so I could get some regular pitch time.

“When I was told I could do that I said I wanted to go to a club who were challenging at the top of the table and have at least half a chance of getting promoted. I picked the right team in the end.

“It’s another team who want to play football, they had a similar style to what we have here, and it worked. The gaffer tweaked a few things with me and thankfully they’ve worked and we’ve come out on top.

“It’s another tick in the box for me. There’s nothing better than winning games and promotions - you can’t beat it."

“My target next season is to hopefully get another promotion with Carlisle United," he told us. "It’s about having that winning mentality and I think I’ve got that. I think the aim for the gaffer and the rest of the lads will be the same, to get promoted.

“I kept an eye on all our results while I was on loan, as well as watching the goals and things like that. I’ve kept in touch with the lads and it was disappointing to see them lose out in the way they did at Exeter."

On whether he feels he has something to prove next season, he said: "I think you've always got to prove yourself. I’ll be looking to come back in pre-season and stay injury free so I’m ready to go again next year.

"I want to keep improving and I’ll keep working hard to make sure I do that. I'm not the sort of player who enjoys sitting on the bench watching games. I’ve got enough experience now to know I need to be playing.

"It was difficult at the start of the season because the lads were flying and there’s nothing you can do if the team aren’t losing games. It’s hard to take but you’re in it as a team. When the opportunity comes you’ve got to grab it."

Looking ahead to August, he said: "Like I said, I want to be involved here with Carlisle United. The gaffer has said the door is open, it's a clean slate, and that he signed me for a reason.

"Hopefully I'll come back firing on all cylinders and we can take it from there. I’ve had an extra week off with our final being the week earlier than the play-off semi-final that the lads were involved in, and I’ve just about recovered.

"I’m already in the gym and preparing to come back for pre-season. I'm looking forward to it."

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