Striker Max Brown put pen-to-paper on his first professional deal at the club this morning having battled back from a morale-sapping knee injury in March last year to successfully complete his scholarship.
The 19-year-old spoke this morning about how the long hours in rehab had been worth it now that a place in the first team dressing awaits.
“I’m buzzing, to be fair,” he said. “I’ve had to work hard to get back from my injury and I’m just delighted that I’ve finally signed a contract.
“I think it’s just about sunk in that it’s happened now and I’m looking forward to getting on with it when pre-season comes.”
“The last few days leading up to us finding out about the decision were very nerve-wracking,” he admitted. “It’s just all about anticipation and waiting to find out when you’ll be told.
“I was very nervous on the day I came in to be given the news, but I was over the moon when I found out I was being offered a deal. There hadn’t been any indication at all about how things might go, so it was a nice surprise when I found out it was good news.
“Obviously it’s an extra pat on the back knowing that it was Keith [Curle] who made the recommendation for me to stay. That shows that he had confidence in what I was doing, and I’ll be looking to repay that next season for the club and for whoever comes in next.”
Speaking about what it had felt like to have been successful having been through an extended academy process, due to his knee injury, he commented: “There aren’t many better feelings than this, to be honest.
“What I do know is that the hard work starts now, and I know it’s going to get even harder every year. Darren [Edmondson] and Gav [Skelton] have told me that I have to make sure I keep going.
“It’s up to me to earn my place in the team and to keep pushing on with my career.”
And on the knee injury which sidelined him for just over eight months, he said: “That was a horrible thing to go through. With it being in March, just before the second-year decisions were being made, I couldn’t think of a worse thing to happen. I felt very down and low about it all.
“I didn’t know it was my cruciate at the time, so when I found out that it was that type of injury I just thought it was me done with game. It was brilliant for me that Carlisle extended my time and that’s allowed me to come back, work hard and get myself a deal.
“The club standing by me through that was proof that they were backing me, which was really good. I can’t thank them enough.”
“I found the recovery period difficult because it seemed to just drag on,” he added. “I spent hours and hours in the gym, looking at four walls as I did my work, but it was worth it in the end.
“The reward for it is here now. I have to say I was really nervous when I went out to play my first game for the youth team, but the club medical staff have been superb. That’s Dolly and Lee Fearn, and the youth team staff with their physio and strength coach.
“They all helped me through it and they gave me the confidence to trust in my knee and to just get out there and play my game. Another really big test of all it was going on-loan to Workington.
“That was something else I was nervous about, but they made me feel really welcome. It was completely different football to the youth team because it was the men’s game and the points really mattered.
“It taught me a lot by going down there and I think that will put me in good stead for what’s to come.”
Looking ahead to pre-season, he told us: “I know it’s about impressing the new manager. I have to come back fit and strong and I have to hit the ground running.
“It’ll be tough going through my first pre-season with the first team but I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait.
“My first target has to be to push for a place on the bench and then it’ll be about trying to make the starting eleven. I have belief in what I can do but I know I have to prove that in training and whenever I’m given my chances.
“If I do that we can then take it from there.”
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