Experienced forward Gavin Reilly has become United’s third summer signing as he joins the Blues on a one-year deal (with an option) today.
Gretna-born Reilly, 27, was a Carlisle target in the transfer window and scored the first goal in Cheltenham’s 2-0 victory over the Blues at Whaddon Road at the start of last season.
The lively striker exploded onto the scene with Queen of the South scoring 43 goals in 132 appearances in all competitions during a five-year stay.
Loan spells with Gretna and Hearts preceded a permanent move to Tynecastle in the summer of 2015. He had a loan with Dunfermline, before making the switch to St Mirren in July 2017.
A haul of 22 goals in 44 appearances captured the eyes of the scouts, and he signed for Bristol Rovers before heading on loan to Cheltenham for the first half of the 2019/20 campaign.
Manager Chris Beech said: “Gavin is actually someone we looked at trying to bring to the football club back in January, from Bristol Rovers.
“He was one of those ‘spinning plates’ I spoke about. He was keen to come here, and we were keen to take him, but Bristol Rovers changed their manager and Gavin ended up coming onto the pitch from the bench, which meant that he'd played for two clubs in one season (Bristol and Cheltenham). FA rules meant he couldn't play for anyone else during that season.
“I'm obviously delighted we've managed to make it work this time around and, importantly, he's our player rather than being here on a loan basis.”
“Gavin is a great age for a forward player,” he added. “He has excellent movement and above all else is a natural and instinctive finisher.
“I've seen him score goals I didn't think he'd put away, and his goals-per-game ratio for the modern day game is impressive.
“Whenever we look at bringing in a new player there are obvious factor in play. For example, finance - can we afford him ... will he come ... and other such questions to be answered.
"However, I also need to observe the characteristics I'm looking for, both in terms of playing style and attitude.
“Gavin was really keen to come to Brunton Park. He's kept in regular contact during the summer and even committed to moving to the area.
"He’s been very successful north of the border, and I know he has no doubts at all that he can score goals in the EFL for Carlisle. I think this one is a great fit.”