Defender Mark Ellis made 74 appearances for the Blues since first joining the club on-loan from Shrewsbury in October 2015 [the move quickly became permanent the following January] and spoke today about how difficult it had been to make the decision to cut his ties with the Blues as he makes the move to Tranmere on a two-year deal.
“It wasn’t an easy decision at all, but Tranmere is closer to home and the length of the deal gives me more in the way of longer-term security,” he said. “It’s a sad feeling to be leaving Carlisle United but also exciting, because it’s another new challenge.
“My relationship with the fans up there is excellent and I think that’s important for any player. You go to any club you join to do well and it’s always in the back of your mind that the people on the terraces and in the stands pay a lot of hard-earned money to follow you.
“If they’re clapping you off the pitch and sending you nice messages on social media it makes it a really good feeling. Fortunately that’s how they’ve been with me all the way through my time at Brunton Park.
“Overall I think they’ve appreciated what I’m about and what I’ve done for the club whenever I’ve played. I’m the type of player who will give everything and I think supporters will always respect that.”
“Some of them have been in touch to ask me not to leave, and people always look for reasons behind it, particularly when a player has been offered a deal but he decides to go anyway,” he continued. “They wonder if it’s about money, and things like that, but this really is down to where I’m based and the length of the deal.
“It’s never an easy decision to make, particularly when the club you’re leaving has put a contract on the table, but you have to weigh all of the factors up and do whatever is best for your family and yourself.”
“It’s been even harder on this occasion because I’ve really enjoyed the second half of the season,” he confirmed. “I went out on loan to Leyton Orient, having played a few games at the start of the season, and I did wonder if that was me done playing for Carlisle at that time.
“I’d been out to Forest Green before that, and getting promotion with them is something I’ll always be very proud of. It ended up being quite a big thing in terms of my career achievements.
“But being sent out on loan a second time suggested that chances to play here were going to be slim when I did come back. I sat down with Keith [Curle] just before January and he assured me that wasn’t the case at all.
“Whether because of injuries, or whatever it was, I managed to get back in the team and I never looked back. I was involved in every game until the end of the season and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“The manager also appreciated what I’d been doing because he ended up recommending that the club offered me a contract. It’s just amazing how football goes sometimes.”
Speaking about the new challenge ahead, he told us: “I’ve worked with Micky [Mellon] before and he’s made it clear for a while now that he wanted me to join him again. He knows how I play and I know what his expectations of me are as well.
“He’s a big part of why a difficult decision was made easier because I know we’ll get back to working well together again very quickly. They’ve obviously just come back up and they’ll be looking to push on, so it’s an exciting time to be involved there.”
“I leave with some very good memories,” he said. “We’ve had some excellent performances against very good teams, like Everton and Sheffield Wednesday, and I’ve met some fantastic people.
“The dressing room was full of unbelievable characters and they were a really tight group. They made me welcome, even when I went away and came back a couple of times, and that sums up how they are.
“The play-offs just wasn’t to be for us this year and you wouldn’t believe how frustrating everybody found that to be. We desperately wanted to get the club over the final hurdle.”
“Obviously I’ll be back up to Carlisle at some point with Tranmere next season and it’ll be nice to thank the fans for what they did for me,” he concluded. “I always look at when I’ll be playing against my former clubs, but Carlisle will definitely be top of that list this time.
“It’s a good place and a good club and I’ll be keeping an eye on how they get on from now on.”