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MANAGER: End of season decisions are never easy

Chris Beech on the five first-year professionals

29 April 2021

Carlisle United can confirm that Jamie Armstrong, Charlie Barnes, Charlie Birch, Liam Lightfoot and Tom Wilson will move on from the club when their contracts expire at the end of the current season.

Manager Chris Beech said: "It’s important that as a football club we put the time, effort and energy into developing our young players, whether they’ve been in the building with us since they were juniors, or they have come to us that little bit later from other clubs.

"End of season decisions are never easy, and it’s not the most rewarding part of being a football manager, or coach, that’s for sure. 

"With a background in developing youth players for Bury and Rochdale it’s something you have to deal with, and it’s also important for the players that we communicate with them early so they understand our position, and we understand theirs." 

"It’s also fair to say that this season has been like no other," he continued. "As a football club I think we’ve faced some really significant issues which have affected what we set out to do at the start of the season, and there’s no hiding away that our young professionals have probably suffered as a consequence.

"The plans for them to go out and develop were curtailed just as they were finding their feet at Kendal Town, and the inability for us to get bounce games with other clubs because of the pandemic has more or less knocked a year away from their footballing careers.

"That has happened to young players across the country."

"We have made the decision to release Jamie, Charlie Birch, Charlie Barnes, Liam and Tom when their current deals expire," he told us. "As a club we’ve got to push through the next batch of young players and work with them to generate progression. 

"This year any young player, especially ours, has the right to feel hard done to. I’d like to go on record and thank the boys for their professionalism and commitment in such difficult circumstances.

"My phone is always on and as David Holdsworth has said in previous interviews, we’ll do anything we can as a club to help the lads as they go on with the next phase of their footballing journey." 

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