United’s January transfer window has included 14 different bits of activity (ins, outs and loans) as head coach Chris Beech has worked tirelessly with his staff and the board of directors to reshape the squad, at the same time as bringing much needed results out on the field of play from a run of eight games in just 31 days.
With the business of January now done, we caught up with the boss before he collapsed in a tired heap at the team hotel in Mansfield on Friday night.
“I’m happy that I’ve reached a point where I can throw my phone in the bin!” he joked. “It’s been really hard work, to be honest with you, because myself, my staff, the board and the director of football have been at this every single day.
“With the way we wanted to implement a strategic element to our recruitment it means that we’ve had no rest at all this month but I can say that, as tough as it’s been, I love it, and I love the feeling that we’re all doing this to make Carlisle United a better club.”
“Everything I’ve looked to do has been with the view of not just making things pay off for us now, but with the future in mind as well,” he continued. “It’s vital that we use a solid strategy to get the right players who have a good spread of ages and experience and who can turn our words and promises into actions.
“Young, hungry players with potential for growth added to players who know the game provide a mix which looks to the future at the same time as protecting the current aim of getting three points on a Saturday.
“I’ve said this before, but the three-point feeling on a Saturday unites every element of the work everybody does at the football club, from the coaching staff, manager and players to the people who come in to help on a match day in the hospitality and ticketing areas, or anywhere else in the ground.
“Winning games consistently unites a club, and that’s why putting the work in to get us to a stronger place is something I’m addicted to. I want to make sure everything we do in every department represents Carlisle United in the right way, and that’s why we’ll all continue to work as hard as we can for the most important people in all of this - the fans who come to watch and support us.”
“Look, as I said earlier, there are no guarantees that everything we do will bring instant rewards, but when everyone is pulling in the same direction, as we have been since I came in, it makes it easier to achieve good things,” he commented. “This month alone I have to thank the club, the chairman and the board for the efforts they’ve put in by supporting me in what I wanted to do.
“If we look back to when we went to Colchester in December, I didn’t have enough fit players to fill the bench. From there we’ve helped players who needed to move on [Canice Carroll, Christie Elliott and Elias Sorenson] and we’ve found football for a young player who just wanted to be playing football by getting Keighran Kerr to Kendal.
“We’ve dealt with the transfers of two players for fees [Jarrad Branthwaite and Hallam Hope] and we’ve secured existing players on contracts to keep them at the club [Aaron Hayden – 18-months; Gethin Jones until the end of the season].
“Looking at both the current needs, and towards the future, we’ve signed players on permanent deals, many with options, as we start to think about the strategic side of our recruitment [Lewis Alessandra, Nick Anderton, Callum Guy, Max Hunt and Omari Patrick].
“Along with this month’s loans [Marcus Dewhurst, Josh Kayode and Eliott Watt] we can see that we’ve done a significant amount of business, all with the betterment of the club at the heart of our transactions.
“From my staff putting in the miles and the hours to look at and assess players, to the directors working with us on getting the deals done, it’s been something we can all feel very pleased with and I thank all of them for their input and efforts.”
“It goes without saying that three points on a match day is the most important thing, and it always will be,” he concluded. “But if you can develop your players within that you are suddenly creating a very strong working environment.
“In addition, you get a good business model which can help to create a positive financial environment for the club as a whole. That’s why while we’ve been working on the recruitment side of things, I’ve also made sure that we’ve done things properly in terms of training, preparation, upskilling and development of ourselves as individuals and as a group.
“I’ve tried to challenge the staff and the players every step of the way through what has been a very busy month, but the rewards are there for us all if we keep working as hard as this.
“And here we are, January is done and we go into February tomorrow with another game for us all to look forward to. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”