Keeper Adam Collin made a return to the club where his professional career kicked off on Wednesday morning as he put pen to paper on a one-year deal which keeps him at Brunton Park until at least the summer of 2019.
We spoke to him about the move shortly before he went out to take part in his third training session with his new team mates.
“It does feel a bit like coming home,” he admitted. “This is where I started my league career, I’m Cumbrian - from here originally - so it is nice to come back.
"I cut my teeth here in terms of professional football, but I’ve played a lot of games since then at a lot of different levels, so I’m coming back a much more experienced goalkeeper."
“When I first signed here I always said I wanted to play at the highest level and I’ve been lucky enough to play in the Championship and in the Scottish Premier League," he added. "To achieve that has been fantastic and they were great experiences which I know will stand me in good stead.
“I’ve been lucky enough to play with some good players at some very good clubs, but it’s nice to be back here now and hopefully I can use my experience to help this team.
"I feel like I’ve massively developed as a keeper since I left here, my all-round game has changed, and I think I’ve improved in most areas, which I’ve had to do with the step ups throughout the league. I definitely feel like a more rounded goalkeeper."
On the rumours which have been circling around about his return to Brunton Park this summer, he said: “I think a lot of people put two and two together once the manager got the job, because he obviously signed me at Notts County.
"It’s nice to get it all over the line now so I can concentrate on pre-season. I think it does help that I know the manager, I also know Muzza [Paul Murray] and a few of the staff here.
"It’s good to come back and see a lot of familiar faces, and it’s been easy to fit in. It’s great to come here knowing that the manager wants to get out of this league. It’s a massive club with good support and everything is here for us to make a good go of it this season."
Having joined the squad on Monday, as contract talks were ongoing, he confirmed that it's been good to get to know Dan Watson and Joe Fryer through what have been some intense periods of work.
“I’ve done a couple of good sessions with Dan already, and we’ve obviously got Joe here as well, so we've been straight into it," he commented. "Joe is a young lad trying to make his way in the game and if I can help him, as well as compete against him, then that will be brilliant.
“We’ve got two keepers who will be pushing each other for that number one shirt, which is what you want from a goalkeeping department. We had it towards the end of my time here with Mark Gillespie and I’ve had it throughout my career, so it’s nothing new. It will be up to either one of us to stake that claim.
“It’s always a good working environment when you’ve got two strong goalkeepers, as well as the young lads who are working with us. It keeps you on your toes because, whether you’re playing or not, there’s always something to train for, which is the important thing. I’m sure Dan will make sure we’re nice and sharp over the coming weeks."
And on being back in Cumbria, he said: “It is great to be back here. A lot of my family and friends are still up here and they’re all fans, so they’re pleased to see me back.
"The feedback I’ve had so far has been really positive and nice, so it is good to come back to a club you know well. Not a lot has changed since I was here, the training ground is the same and there are a lot of staff still here.
"The squad has obviously changed but I know Danny Grainger really well so it’s easy to walk back into the building and pick up where I left off.
“I’m 33 now so I’m hopefully in my prime as a goalkeeper. The one year deal with an option means if I have a good season there will be an extension on top of the initial year, and it’s up to me to make sure I get that.
"I back myself to play at any level. If the manager puts me in the team I’m comfortable that I’ll be able to do a good job."
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