Carlisle boss Chris Beech beat off stiff competition to bring Jack Armer up to Brunton Park, following the left-sided defender’s release from Preston, and we spoke to the under-19 Scotland international about the move as he continued to settle in to his new surroundings this week.
“It was great news when the gaffer offered me the deal,” he said. “I found out at the end of March that I wasn’t getting a new contract with Preston, so I was on to a few clubs straight away.
“There was the offer of going on trial at some clubs, but ideally I wanted something on paper. When this came along I felt like it was the perfect move for me.”
Having spoken at length with the gaffer about the short hop up the M6, he told us: “The thing that really got me was how he talked about the way he wants us to play football.
“He also said that there’s a good opportunity for me here and on a personal level, when I found out about this, I knew it was it was going to be best for me.
“Some of the other clubs that were mentioned were ok, but when I compared it here it was the case that Carlisle was a step ahead as far as I was concerned.”
Having grown up at Deepdale, we wondered if it had been difficult to leave that club behind.
“The way it ended there was a bit strange,” he commented. “They said they were offering something, then they said they weren’t, and it turned out that I wasn’t involved when they gave out new deals.
“I’m not bitter, that’s not how I’d describe it, but hopefully by coming here I can show them what I can do and it will come back to bite them.
“Being released spurred me on through the lockdown. I’ve done a lot of work and I feel fit, probably the fittest I’ve ever been, to be honest. There wasn’t much else to do other than run and stay fit so I used the opportunity to do just that.
“I think I’ve got a great chance to play games here and to prove myself. We’ve seen with the lad that went to Everton that it’s a great stepping-stone. If I can get 20 games under my belt at 19-years-old then that will prove that it has been a great chance.”
Describing himself as a player, he said: “I played left back and left wing back last year, and I like to get forward and get crosses into the box. I’d say that’s actually one of my strong points.
“I’m not one who will pull out of a tackle so if someone wants to go into a 50:50 I’m happy to go along with it.
“The gaffer knows all about me and he just wants me to play the way I play and to show him what I’m about. If I do get to play then the way we he wants us to do things should suit my game.
“One of the things he mentioned when I spoke to him was that I remind him of how he was at this age, so hopefully there’s a good connection there and I get a chance to prove it.”
As for the important settling in process, he said: “I think it’s quite a close group even though there’s a fair few new lads.
“Everyone seems to know each other and the bond is quite good. Hopefully that’ll continue throughout the season.
“I can‘t wait to get started. It’s been a long time in waiting to find out when the league was going to kick off again, and it’s good to know that now, especially with the Carabao Cup being the week before.
“Like I say, hopefully I’ll get a chance early on because I haven’t played a game for four months. I’ve really missed it.
“I just want to be part of what we’re going to do. To get promoted is obviously what everyone wants, and I want to get games under my belt and get more experience.”
But on the subject of experience, he also confirmed that his time with the Scotland under-19 squad had been an excellent way of learning another side of the game.
“I’ve played about 15 games for them now and the last time we went away was back in February,” he told us. “We played the Czech Republic twice and it’s a different style of football, but you’re playing against the best 20 lads from that country.
“Some of them had moved for big money - one of their lads was from France and I think Arsenal had signed him for £30 million. It’s a good experience, something completely different, and something I really enjoy.”
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