Carlisle United Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of David Holdsworth as our Director of Football.
In that role, he will work closely with first team manager John Sheridan on the recruitment of senior players, once the first team manager has identified his targets, and on creating pathways between the Academy and senior team.
Well respected for his contacts among scouts, agents, players and executives, David's appointment signals the club's joint commitment to recruiting talent identified by the first team manager and developing future players.
David will provide a key link between the 1921 Board and the manager, ensuring John Sheridan is able to execute his team strategy and recruit players within budgets. He is also responsible for establishing a pipeline of talent between the senior team and the club’s Academy.
He recently worked with United as a consultant on football matters, working closely with John on senior squad recruitment and contract negotiations.
David previously worked with Lincoln and Mansfield, where he showed his ability to attract key players to clubs in regional areas and work within budgets. He was also central to the creation and success of Gretna FC.
He was approached by Brooks Mileson to build the club from the ground up, create its distinctive style of play, and establish its winning formula. He is credited with building the team that led to Gretna FC winning promotion from the Scottish Third Division to the Scottish Premier League in less than five years, and reaching the Scottish Cup final in 2006.
His playing career included stints at Sheffield United, Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers.
David Holdsworth, new Director of Football, said: "I want to help build a strong, resilient football club with its own footballing DNA that's a credit to the city of Carlisle.
“We have made a strong start with good signings, but I'm looking forward to helping John Sheridan and his staff in adding to the strength of the side over the rest of the season. Now is the time to get our heads down, work hard and make the fans proud.
"I have been working closely with John, and I know he wants to deliver an exciting brand of football that is uniquely United. I'm also focused on establishing a pipeline of talent from the Academy to the senior team. Carlisle and Cumbria has some of the greatest young talent in football, and I'm focused on making sure that these players start with us, and stay with us.
"It's a dream role for me and I'm honoured to be working with John Sheridan, Darren Edmondson and the Board to help to build a side that can go for, and win, promotion. That's our goal, and I'll do everything I possibly can to make it happen."
Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: "I'm delighted that David has agreed to join us as Director of Football. He has extensive contacts in the English and Scottish games, and we look forward to him bringing that expertise to Carlisle. This is a hugely positive step for the club as we seek to attract talent to support John's strategy."
First team manager John Sheridan said: "I’ve worked closely with David over the last few months, and he has become an essential part of the team. As I continue to focus on our senior squad for the upcoming seasons and beyond, securing talent is critical.
"The responsibility for identifying players will always be down to me. It’s always important that the manager gets the players he wants to get results, and I’m no different with that.
"I've said before that it's my job to make sure that Carlisle United is winning games – I'm totally focused on that – and I believe that David has key skills that will help me achieve this goal and give us the edge over other clubs.
"We have already secured some good players who are making a real difference on the pitch. But we must never lose our focus, and I look forward to working closely with David this season to ensure that we can keep up the pressure to win."
Academy manager Darren Edmondson said: "David's appointment is a clear and positive step forward for the club. He's passionate about player development and is focused on creating pathways from the Academy to the senior team.
"I know he believes the only way to be successful long term is to build a strong and energetic youth side that we can draw on in future years."