Carlisle United have today signed defender Morgan Feeney on a short-term contract which keeps him at the club until the end of the current season.
Bootle-born Feeney, 21, came through the Everton youth system and was loaned to Tranmere for the second half of the 2019/20 system. That had to be cut short as he suffered a hamstring injury in his first appearance.
He left Everton to join Sunderland in the summer, and he scored his first senior goal in the 8-1 Papa John’s trophy group game victory over Aston Villa.
He has been snapped up by the Blues as he now becomes a free agent.
Manager Chris Beech said: “I’ve spoken in previous interviews about this transfer window and our aspiration to make us better. Morgan ticks that box.
“He’s been one of the shining lights of youth football for years. I remember him as 14-year-old playing for Everton, he was both a captain and a standout.
“Morgan went on and captained England through the age groups, he actually played along side George Tanner.
“When I first started this job Morgan was a player I enquired about with Everton and got a flat ‘no’ – they had no interest in letting him out.”
“In terms of first team exposure, he hasn’t quite got going,” he added. “He game time in the Europa League for Everton and had a loan spell with Tranmere in League One, but he picked up an injury.
“He ultimately found himself as a free agent and signed for Sunderland and got injured, coinciding with the end of his deal there, a change in ownership and a new manager.
“He’s 22 next month, which is a great age, back fit and raring to go. Sometimes circumstances work for you, and without the injury and short-term contact there would only be a slim chance he’d be coming to us. He’d probably be well under way with his career.”
“At the moment he’s pure potential,” he commented. “Morgan knows that, it’s up to him to capitalise on that and show what a good player we know he is. He needs to do it where it counts, in first team in the football league.
“He’s come in to prove to us and himself he can maintain his fitness and contribute. Hopefully we get an opportunity to progress his career together - I’m looking forward to working with him.
“In terms of football, he’s first and foremost a natural defender. He has a good reading of the game and that little bit extra to his technique. Coming from Everton he carries those Premier League professional standards and traits which will strengthen our unit automatically.
“Morgan wants a career, he wants to get going, he wants success and he’s side-stepping other opportunities to come to us and be in the right environment.
“When the window shuts on 1 February we need to make sure we’re in good shape to compete for the remainder of the season. Once it’s shut, that’s us, and adding Morgan to the group strengthens our offering significantly.
“I keep saying I want to make us better, and he does just that.”