Club captain Callum Guy extended his stay with the Blues until at least the summer of 2023 this week, with him already having notched up 60 appearances in all competitions since joining the club in January 2020.
The popular 24-year-old took the skipper’s armband this season, and the news of his extended stay was greeted with a swathe of positive messages from fans on social media, with many relieved that the persistent rumours of an imminent departure had been consigned to the rubbish.
We managed to grab him just after he’d signed his new deal on Thursday afternoon.
“It wasn’t a tough decision, I love it here,” he said. “Since I came, the manager has given me a platform to play and I’m trying to repay him as well as I can in my performances and by committing my future to the club.
“I want to repay the faith that everyone at the club has shown in me, the coaching staff, the rest of the lads and everyone behind the scenes. I can’t thank everyone enough.
“It’s a proud moment for me and my family to extend my stay here and I can’t wait to continue the season and try and improve our recent form.”
Clearly comfortable in the environment that’s been created at Brunton Park, he added: “It does make a big difference when you’re happy somewhere.
“I feel like I’m playing my best football. At other clubs I’ve been in and out of teams but I feel like I’ve established a place at the club now. I obviously got given the armband in the summer, which was another proud moment for me, and to have now signed a new deal, I’m just really excited to kick on.
“It’s massive to know that you’re wanted and appreciated for what you do on the pitch. I’m 100% in at this club, which is why I’ve signed a new deal, I really enjoy it here. My missus and my family all love it here as well and we get great support off the fans. I want to show that I really appreciate it.”
And the length of the deal takes away that element of uncertainty which is a such a part of the game for players in the modern era.
“I think that’s massive,” he admitted. “Being able to focus on your game and knowing where you’re going to be means your future is settled. You can focus on your aims and ambitions with the club, and that’s also important.
“We started off so well last year and it kind of dropped off with Covid, and this season so far it’s been a bit up and down. It’s time to put that right.
“I feel like I was given a really good platform when the gaffer signed me to play games and showcase my abilities. I’m really happy my future’s here at this club.
“Playing games is what every footballer loves. We’ve got such a good squad here, the lads are brilliant, everyone gets on like a house on fire, it’s such a good environment to be around.
“It’s a good club with a really good fanbase who support us all the way. What more could you want as a footballer.”
But what about that outside interest – had that caused a wobble at any point?
“It didn’t sway me,” he insisted. “There wasn’t too much to any of it, to be honest, and my full focus was on Carlisle. I’ve been trying to show that on the pitch, but I know we haven’t been at our best in the last few weeks. We’re working hard on the training pitch to try and put that right.
“My total focus has always been here at Carlisle. I was contracted here, and I’m really excited to be here. I don’t think much could have turned my head to be honest with you.
“I love this club, love playing in front of the fans, love playing for the gaffer, they’ve all shown me faith so I’d like to repay that. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, I feel happy and settled, my family also love it, that played a big part, I just feel it’s time to kick on even more.”
With the next few years sorted it brings even more stability for what is a very young family, who are all now adopted Cumbrians.
“They know I love it here so they were delighted when I said I had a new offer,” he commented. “It means they’re able to settle as well and I’m the same as anyone, I work for my family and I want to make them proud, which they are.
“My missus is brilliant with helping me with the night feeds - I had to make sure I got that in - and it’s important for me to be able to look after them.
“My family’s everything to me, I try to repay them, support them as best I can, and signing a new deal means I know where my future lies. My partner Abbie interacts with the fans, they get along really well. That’s massive for me.
“It’s nice to have a good connection with the fans and it’s time to repay them for the faith they’ve shown me.”
The news that he’d signed was the second such announcement of the week, with Jon Mellish also having penned a similar agreement.
“We’re a young squad, with a few experienced players,” he said. “Jon Mellish signed a well-deserved deal as well, and it shows that players want the club to do well.
“The ambitions are good, we feel good as a team, even though the last few weeks haven’t been good enough, we know in the changing room we can put it right.
“To commit our future here was a no-brainer because of what we can do on the pitch, and we know we can get to the ambitions we all have.”