Midfielder Jordan Holt spoke to us this week about an important season ahead as he looks to continue his development with the club.
“I was over the moon when I was told I was getting the contract,” he said. “My family were all really proud of me, which made it all even better.
“I didn't really know it was coming but at one point during the season I think I trained with the first team for about four months straight. That kind of stopped towards the end of the season, when it got closer to us getting told, so I did get a bit nervous.
"I was making out like I was confident when I was around the lads but I was nervous, I just didn’t want to show it!
“On the day we were given the news we actually had a game against Preston, so my mind was probably 50% on the game and 50% on the decisions afterwards. It was only during that last couple of days that I started to feel the nerves, but it wasn’t too bad.”
“It’s good to have already had some experience in working with the first team,” he admitted. “My debut came round in a weird way really. I’d only been back from an injury for four games so I was quite surprised to be given the chance.
"I was just eager to make the best of it. Obviously I got the assist for Cam [Cameron Salkeld] to get his goal, which was good, and we were both happy with it."
“I don’t think the fact that I've made it through has sunk in yet," he told us. "I don’t think it will until we come back for pre-season and we’re around the first team and in the same changing room as them, and things like that.
"I’m looking forward to it already. I’ll be a bit nervous when we first come in and I probably won’t be totally myself. It’s always the same when you come back for the first couple of weeks as you get to know your new team mates, but after that you get used to them and they become your friends.
“I know I have to make my mark and the hard work has started already. I’ve just been in the gym with Lee Fearn [interview conducted on Tuesday morning] and he was putting me through my paces. I just want to work as hard as I can to hopefully get a chance in the first team, which is what it’s all about.
“Lee was explaining everything that we’ll be doing during pre-season and it does all sound a bit scary. He told me to make sure I keep ticking over and I’ll be fine. He’s given me a good programme to do as well, so I’m sure I’ll be in good shape."
On what we can expect to see from him, he said: “I’m a midfielder who likes to get on the ball and play it quickly. I don’t really have too many touches, I just keep it simple and keep the game ticking over.
The manager has said that if you’re good enough you’re old enough, and that just makes you want to work even harder ...
"I like to get forward when I can and maybe get a goal, although that isn’t really my game. It's an area I definitely want to work on. The manager has said that if you’re good enough you’re old enough, and that just makes you want to work even harder.
"If that’s how he thinks you’ve just got to make sure you get in his thoughts and give him a challenge to put you in the team."
“It’s difficult to set targets because you don’t want to be too confident, but I think if I played over five games I’d be happy with myself," he said. "Everyone wants to achieve more than that but you’ve got to be realistic at this point and wait to see what happens with the squad, and what sort of players the manager brings in.
“I’ve watched the likes of Potts, Dempsey and Gillespie come through and it does give you even more of an incentive. Kyle was only here for one season as a professional before he moved up into a higher division, and Brad Potts has just got promoted with Blackpool. Mark Gillespie had been here nine years before he moved on so it makes you want to achieve what they have at the club."
As for the advice he's received over the last few weeks, he said: “Darren [Edmondson] and Dave [Wilkes] have told me to be myself and not to change the way I am. They told me to try to play my own game and to look to make a big statement within the first team squad.
“I haven’t really spoken to Grant [Holt] that much but he’s just told me to keep my feet on the ground and that the chances will come for me if I work hard. I’ve been winding him up telling him that a Holt has finally got a contract at Carlisle United - he doesn’t really like it that much!”