Young Lion Kris Twardek became a Blue this afternoon when he put pen-to-paper on a half-season loan deal which keeps him at Brunton Park until the end of the 2017/18 campaign.
Speaking about the move at his first press conference as a United player this evening, he said: “I know the manager here has had a lot of conversations about me with the management staff down at Millwall.One thing led to another and now I’m here, and I’m really happy about that.
“Obviously James Brown has been here for a while, and I think the manager had asked him about me as well. Kevin Nugent [Millwall development manager] came in this season and it’s really fortunate for us to have got to work with him.
“He’s been a good influence on my football and I’ve learned a lot from him, and he was also fully behind me making this move.”
Twardek, 20, has already made three appearances for his parent club this season so arrives at Brunton Park with some recent valuable league and cup experience under his belt.
“Those games have given me a good taste for what it’s like,” he commented. “I’ve been coming on for a few minutes here and there, and I also had a little taste in the Checkatrade Trophy the season before.
“To be honest, you want regular games and you want to feel like your part of a group so that you can make more of an impact. Having said that, it has been incredible to be part of the dressing room at Championship level.
“You learn from players who are some of the best of the best. You have the likes of Steve Morison, who is a really experienced head, and you can take your game to a new level just by being around players like that. I’ve definitely had a good learning experience over the past six months or so.”
As to what type of player we can expect to see, he said: “I’d say I’m quite direct. I’m more of a runner, so I like to take players on and get in behind. I look to get shots and crosses away, so that’s how I’d describe myself.
“I’ve been playing in a 4-4-2 at Millwall, and I’ve played on either the left or right wing for the past three years. That’s been adapted this season where I’ve been working behind a target man, running off behind him.
“I’m comfortable playing anywhere across the front four, or in a 4-3-3. That’s a formation I’ve played with Canada, so I’m open to anything really.”
“The good thing is that I’ve been given the chance to take the challenge of doing all of this in a first team with Carlisle United, and I’m grateful for that,” he told us. “To be here and playing games will give me even more experience, and it’s going to be a massive benefit to be involved with men’s football at a good level, with a good club.
“I think that’s important, especially at this age, because it will help me with what I want to do with Canada and Millwall. It’s good for me that I’m here and I’m determined to take the opportunity I’ve been given.”
And having roomed with fellow loanee James Brown at Millwall, we wondered what information had been shared about the club by United’s adopted right back.
“He’s said a lot of good things about the club, the manager and the players,” he commented. “He got into the team and he stayed there, and I want to emulate that. The big thing about coming to a new place is that you want to feel welcome. The players have done that and I’m looking forward to having a positive impact.
“I had my first training session with them today and you can tell it’s a good group. I think, with my style of play being so direct, and with Millwall being a very demanding club, there isn’t any room for nerves, or anything like that. You’re encouraged to make sure you get on with things with confidence, and that’s no bad thing.
“I’m here for the rest of the season now so I want to play a part in helping us to push up the league. I want to play as many games as I can, and I’ll be looking for both goals and assists. It’s straight into it with Forest Green tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it.
“It’s exciting and it’s exactly what you want. I’ve come here to experience first team games so I’m buzzing to be part of it.”
And on his international experiences at youth and senior level, he said: “There are some top, top players in the international youth set-ups. There are players who play at Ajax and Juventus and some of the biggest clubs in the world.
“It’s a lot different to what you get at Millwall, because it’s a lot more physical than what you face in under-23 football. With the Czech Republic they based their football on rotation, so you do learn new things and you have to adapt, or you fall by the wayside.
“Making the move to play for Canada threw up more new challenges as well, because of the different approaches they employ.”
Good performances at under-20 level for Canada led to a call-up to the senior side which, as he admitted, came as a bit of a shock.
“I was actually with my dad when I got the call and it was a huge shock,” he confirmed. “I was the player-of-the-year with the under-20 team, so that had been a successful year for me at that level, but I never really expected it to lead to a full call-up.
“I loved that whole experience. It’s great to be part of it and I want to stay there and continue to be part of it. It’s the same as at club level, it’s about working hard and impressing the manager every time you get the chance.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Kris Twardek on iFollow United now.
Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.