A familiar face makes a welcome return to Brunton Park today as experienced coach Eric Kinder joins the club as our new academy manager.
Kinder, who was head of youth with United between 2006 and 2013, made Carlisle his home before moving back to Blackburn Rovers to take up the role of head coach with the under-23 side.
United boss Steven Pressley said: “Everything I’ve heard about Eric is positive and he’s certainly somebody who comes with a wealth of experience. I’m really looking forward to working with him because I know he has the best interests of Carlisle United at heart.
“What we also know is that the development of young players is vitally important at this club. We’ve seen that with the fact that we already have four young players from our academy in the senior ranks.
“They’ll be fully integrated into the squad this year and it’s an area we want to continually improve and nurture. With someone like Eric, who has first team and academy knowledge, it means he knows what it takes for young players to break through.
“That has to be a benefit to us all.”
Director of football David Holdsworth said: “It’s an important role because our structure goes not just through the first team, but all the way through to the mums and dads who support their boys in the academy on the local parks and at Frenchfields.
“We want our under-8s and 9s to wear their badge with pride and to carry that all the way through as they progress with us.
“We want our academy to be a leading light in terms of EPPP and how we create a pathway and we feel that Eric is the right man to oversee that.”
Kinder played non-league football for Accrington Stanley, Morecambe and Clitheroe as a central defender and moved into coaching with age groups at Preston North End.
He first worked with his hometown club of Blackburn Rovers as the under-16 coach, spending six years in that post at Ewood Park before he made the switch north to his adopted home.
A spell as assistant manager with Limerick preceded last season’s move to Exeter City, where he worked beside new Grecians’ boss Matt Taylor, taking the club to a ninth-place finish in League Two.
Kinder nurtured a number of young players through the club’s scholarship programme with Mark Beck, Patrick Brough, Andy Cook, Kyle Dempsey, Mark Gillespie, Gary Madine and Brad Potts examples of the talent which went on to make successful inroads into the professional game.
His team reached the Youth Alliance Cup national final for the first time in its history in April 2013, where they lost out to Bristol Rovers, and they famously beat Manchester United in an exciting FA Youth Cup fourth round meeting in front of Sir Alex Ferguson in January 2008.