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INTERVIEW: Everything about the club made the decision easier

Goalkeeper coach Dan Watson on his move to United

17 November 2017

We spoke to new goalkeeper coach Dan Watson about his move to United shortly after he joined the club on Wednesday evening.

“It’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to,” he said. “When I got the call last week to come up and speak to the gaffer, it was a bit of a no-brainer for me.

"I know I’ve got big footsteps to follow from Simon [Tracey], who is a great keeper coach, but it’s something I’m really looking forward to."

Speaking about how the move came about, he said: “Chris Morgan, who I worked with at Port Vale, knew I was looking for a new challenge and he's good friends with the gaffer here. They were talking about the situation and he put my name forward.

“I’ve had lots of conversations since then with the gaffer and he’s been great. He’s told me the goalkeeping department is mine, he doesn’t want to interfere, and he'll ask me about anything he wants answered.

"He likes to know what is planned for the week and he's happy for me to get on with it and maintain the good work Simon has done." 

“I was with the reserves at Fleetwood on Wednesday so that gave me chance to have a chat with Morgan [Bacon]," he told us. "I’ll be talking to the keepers as a group and individually over the next couple of days so I can get an idea of what sort of things they like to do during their week, in terms of match preparation. The first part of the job is for me to get a good feel for what they’re all about.

“I was at the Fleetwood and Yeovil games last week as well, so I’ve had chance to watch all three keepers in action already, which is a good thing. They’re all very good technical goalkeepers and it’s now about maintaining their progression.

"I watched Jack [Bonham] on Saturday and thought he was very good and comfortable. We obviously want Shamal [George] to be pushing him, as well as Morgan. As a group, they are all pleased for each other when they’re in the team, but they’re all working very hard to be the one who is doing it the next week."

With Carlisle so far away from his home base of Wolverhampton, we wondered if that had caused any hint of second thoughts as he made up his mind about whether or not to make the move to Brunton Park.

“With the club having aims to go up it did make the decision easier," he commented. "Any club the gaffer is involved in, you know it’s going to be done the right way.

"I’ve spent a bit of time at the club already and even looking round the place, you can see that it’s one of those clubs which is ready to go up to the next level. I obviously spent my time in League One last season with Port Vale and this club is one which could go up to that level and compete. Everything about the club made this decision a no-brainer." 

“It wasn’t an easy decision to leave Port Vale," he admitted. "I made some good friends there and the fans were great. New management came in three or four weeks ago and, like anything in football, that can have an impact.

"I have had to think about things but I know this is a good move. I’m from Wolverhampton so Port Vale was only 45 minutes or so away. I enjoyed my time there but I just thought it was time for a new challenge, and this is a great opportunity for me to get that." 

“LIke I say, the gaffer has told me the goalkeeping department is mine but I’m not going to try and reinvent the wheel," he confirmed. "Simon has put a lot of good work in here and you can see that, so I’m not going to come in and make major changes.

"I'll be putting my own stamp on things, but I don’t like to complicate things too much. I’ll just keep everything running smoothly and maintain the good work that's already been done.

“Keith is one for listening to everyone’s opinion and we’ve already sat round the table in the house and had a chat about Grimsby on Saturday. Even on my first day here the gaffer has been listening to what I’ve had to say, and it’s good to know that your input is valued." 

On the two away trips to Grimsby and Luton in the next couple of days, he said: “Every time I come up to Carlisle it’s like an away day for me, so the long away trips don’t worry me! The gaffer has told me it’s a good dressing room here and I’ve already seen that when I went in there after the Yeovil game to introduce myself. Everyone was up shaking my hand and welcoming me to the club.

"The two away trips coming up will give me chance to get to know everyone better. I have had a bit of a practice in the car for my initiation song, some have been better than others, but I’m sure whatever I pick the lads will give me stick for it!”

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