Carlisle United welcome keeper coach Dan Watson into the fold at Brunton Park as he prepares to take his first training session with his new charges ahead of the weekend trip to Grimsby.
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about the new appointment today.
“Dan is somebody who has been through an interview process and he’s impressed me a lot,” he said. “His personal and professional references are exemplary and everyone you speak to talks about his positive attitude and thorough approach.
“I haven’t worked with him before, so our first task is to integrate him as quickly as possible and get him used to doing things the Carlisle United way. He’s bringing a fantastic work ethic and a lot of knowledge, and I think he’ll bring a different outlook and approach for our goalkeepers, which they’ll enjoy, and which will help them along their development path.”
“We’ve spoken at length and he knows he’s here to continue the progression and improvement we’ve already seen with all of our keepers,” he added. “He’s had some time to study footage of the individuals he’ll be working with and he knows that we have a style of play which encourages the keepers to play out, if and when it’s possible.
“His remit now is to develop styles, personalities and individuals who can adhere to that, but who can also make good decisions and know when it's the right time to send it longer.
“His ultimate remit is to keep the ball out of my net! I don’t get too involved with angles, positions and distances when it comes to being a goalkeeper, because that’s what Dan will be here to do. The way I see it is that if the ball goes into the net my keeper should have done better. It’s quite a tough job he’s taking on, when you think about it!”
On the specifics of the job he’ll be asked to do, Curle said: “His role is clearly defined in that he’s here to look after our goalkeepers. Simon Tracey’s role had developed over the time he was with us to a point where he was looking at set pieces and things like that.
“I know from the conversations I’ve had with Dan that he has a very good understanding of football, but I need him to settle in first, get his style of coaching in place, and then we can take it from there.
“This is another challenge for our keepers because they now have a new voice and personality to work with. I’m sure Dan will go through an assessment period, where he’ll confirm their strengths, weaknesses and I know those areas for improvement and development will then be worked on, as they always have been.”
“What we have to remember is that keepers these days have a huge part to play in the way a game goes, and not just with the saves they make,” he continued. “They need to be able to start attacks with their quick thinking, and they need to be able to recycle play and be part of the positive movement of the ball.
“Dan knows that and he’s keen to get on with it now and get out onto the training pitch. He knows that this is a chance for him to put his stamp on that area of the club.”
And on bringing in a new member of the coaching staff with just over three months of the season already gone, he said: “It’s another challenge we face. A well-liked and respected member of staff has moved on and he’s being replaced by someone who we need to get into place and up and running very quickly.
“The good thing is that we’ve identified Dan as being somebody who will make that process a smooth one. What I do know is that he’s coming to a very welcoming environment. One thing I’ve said all along is that the successful clubs are those which make it easy for people to come in and do their jobs. This is one of those clubs.”