Greenock-born defender Jack Iredale became the club’s first summer signing this week, just hours before stepping onto a Qantas flight to make the 17-hour trip home to Australia at the start of his summer break.
Iredale, 23, will become a fully-fledged Blue next month, once his registration and clearance papers are formalised, and admitted to being over the moon that the deal had been sorted so early in the transfer window.
“I’m absolutely delighted that this is done,” he said. “It’s been finalised quite quickly because I think everyone was just happy with what we’d talked about. I knew I wanted to be here as soon as I spoke to the manager and it came together from there.
“Getting my future tied up this early in the summer gives me peace of mind and, with me heading home to Australia today [Monday] it means I can really enjoy the time with my family as I start to prepare for the next step in my career.”
On when he first heard of the interest from Carlisle, he explained: “It was only about a week or so before I signed. Steven [Pressley] called me at that point, and we talked through a few things, and then he got in touch with the agency I deal with to take it further.
“I was surprised with how quickly it was concluded, but when something sounds right I’m a big believer that you just get on and do it. I had a few other offers on the table, but I knew as soon as I met Steven and David Holdsworth that this was going to be my next move.
“They said a lot of things about what they want to see happening at Carlisle United that struck a chord, and that meant that I didn’t give any of the other offers too much thought at all.
“I was pretty much set on signing for the club and I’m now just really excited about the challenge ahead.”
Revealing more about the conversations which had helped him make his decision, he said: “They spoke to me a lot about personal development, which is important to me.
“Steven explained that this is a great platform for me and that he would make sure I’m challenged every step of the way. He sees it as a club that is going to make me better as a player and I agree with that.
“I’m like every player, I want to play at the highest level, and this is my first step into England, which I’m really excited about. Hopefully the next step will be helping us to get the promotion we just missed out on this season.
“I’ve wanted to play in England since I was five so this is massive for me, and I’m determined to take the opportunity I’ve been given. When I was growing up in Australia my ambition was to play in Europe, and I was delighted when I got my foot in the door in Scotland.
“My two years with Greenock Morton have been fantastic and I think it’s set me up nicely for this next stage in my career.”
As to what we can expect from the central defender, who converted to his now regular left back role whilst north of the border, he told us: “One of the things Steven said to me was that he wants this club to play his brand of passing football, and that’s something I’ve been coached and developed under through my time in Australia and New Zealand.
“The technical aspects of playing out from the back and being effective with possession are things I’ve grown up with, so I feel really happy with how we’re looking to play the game here. Playing that way is something I know I can do, and I’m sure I’ll only get better and better as the season goes on.
“I’m really settled as a full back and I like to get forward and attack, but I also know how important it is for me to be doing my job defensively as well.”
So how does a boy from Scotland end up on the other side of the world?
“My mum is actually from Greenock, and my dad grew up in Keswick and Workington, and lived and worked around Carlisle,” he said. “We moved away from Greenock when I was really young, so most of my life has been in Australia.
“It was a good standard of football back home, the leagues are full of excellent teams and players, but I grew up watching the European games on TV and I knew that was what I wanted.
“Morton gave me the chance to sign my first professional deal and that was a great move for me. I must have done something right there because it got Steven’s attention and it led to this.”
With his move to Cumbria now completed, he said: “We just missed out on the play-offs and I know the club wants to improve on that next season. That’s massively exciting.
“It’ll be great to be part of it. Steven wants to develop a style and an identity and he’s also keen to work with players who want to improve. That’s exactly what I’m about so it fits perfectly.
“For now, I’m sat in the Qantas departure lounge ready to take the 17-hour journey from London to Perth. I’ll spend a few weeks at home then I’ll be back to go to Paris with my girlfriend.
“I’ll make sure I keep fit over the next month or so and then I’ll be back to it and ready to go for pre-season. I know this is going to be a challenge but, having seen the set up at the club and inside the stadium, I know it’s only going to make me better if I play my part. That’s why I’m determined to work hard.”