Carlisle United have today signed striker Hallam Hope on a two-year deal which keeps him at Brunton Park until the summer of 2019.
Hope, 23, has already spent time with the Blues when he initially joined United on a one-month loan deal at the end of October 2015.
He bagged the goal which sealed the win in the FA Cup first round away victory against Plymouth during that spell and extended his stay with the club until the end of that campaign having recovered from a troublesome ankle injury.
His half-season stay with us netted him five goals in 25 appearances.
Manager Keith Curle said: "I’ve said this before, but Hallam is a player who has qualities and attributes we like. He's at a point now where he just wants to be out there and showing people what he can do.
“He’s a player who adds to our options and we’re all looking forward to working with him again. He knows the club, he knows how we work and he’s looking forward to the challenge."
“I’m very pleased to finally get him over the line,” he added. “We wanted to bring him in during the last January transfer window and we looked at trying to get him at this time last year as well.
“Thinking about it, I’ve probably chased Hallam more than I’ve ever chased anyone else through my whole life - ex-wife, ex-partner and current girlfriend included! He’s with us now and we’re looking forward to working with him again.”
“In my opinion he’s a player who can play in a much higher division than League Two,” he commented. “He has key attributes I like and I don’t think he’s been played enough in his favoured and natural position.
“He started his career as a striker but his work ethic and understanding of the game has led to him being used out wide and behind the forwards, and I don’t think that’s allowed him to reach his full potential.
“That’s not to say we won’t utilise his other assets as well, but I think we’ve already had a tiny glimpse of what Hallam can do as a centre forward when he played for us against Notts County.
I see him coming to us as a centre forward to play either with Shaun Miller, or as a lone striker, or with one of the other forward options we’re looking to bring into the club ...
“I see him coming to us as a centre forward to play either with Shaun Miller, or as a lone striker, or with one of the other forward options we’re looking to bring into the club. He’s a player who will score goals in a variety of ways. He can get on the end of crosses, he can create openings for himself and he can be in the right place to receive through balls from the creative players we have in the squad.
“We need a goal scoring centre forward and I think he can bring that to the mix for us. It’s over to him now to push himself on and reach the heights we think he can achieve.”
Hope started his career when he moved to Everton from Manchester City as a youngster and had loan spells with Northampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Bury (twice) whilst still with the Toffees.
His move to Bury became permanent when he signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Shakers in January 2015.
He has represented England at the U16, U17, U18 and U19 levels.
Hallam Hope's home and away shirts are now available to sponsor. Contact Katie Mitchell in the Commercial Department on 01228 554 155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.