CONTRACT: A familiar face returns

Carlisle United are delighted to announce that we are welcoming back a familiar face as striker Omari Patrick rejoins the club on an 18-month deal.

Patrick, 25, initially signed for the Blues for an undisclosed fee from Bradford City during the January 2020 transfer window.

He scored seven goals in 47 appearances before leaving to join Burton Albion last summer. He made 11 appearances in all competitions for the Brewers.

Manager Keith Millen said: “We didn’t think we had a chance with this one, to be honest, so it’s good to get it done.

“It’s happened quite quickly, but we found out that there might be an opportunity to get him back here.

“Once his name cropped up everybody here – and obviously I don’t know the lad – but everybody said the same thing, that they wanted to try to get him.

“It’s good to see that he’s rated by those who know him from last season, he has good history here, he’s fond of the place, and he has a good relationship with the players in the dressing room.

“That was a big factor in him wanting to come back and when I spoke to him I told him that it does concern me that when a player goes back to a club, it can be for the wrong reasons.

“He said that he likes the club, he likes the area, and I made it clear that I didn’t want him to just feel comfortable. That isn’t a good reason to go somewhere, and it isn’t a good reason for me to look to sign someone.

“His response to that was exactly what I needed to hear. He wants to come back so that he can show people the type of player he is and the qualities he can bring to a team.

“He wants to work with me, he feels I can help him to develop and kick on, because that’s what he's ready to do. He knows he’s at an age where he has to have an impact, and he wants that to be with us."

“It can’t be a move simply because a player likes a place, it has to be for competitive reasons, and he said all of the right things and I can see the desire he has to pick up where he left off," he continued.

“We’ll need to see how fit he is, because he hasn’t had much game time recently, but he’ll definitely add to what we’ve got.

“He brings something slightly different to what we have here at the moment. He fits the profile I want, I don’t want all of my forwards to be the same, and he can effective up front or playing wide, and even slightly behind.

“He suits the way we play, his strengths are our strengths, so I think it’ll be a good fit. I’m excited about what he'll bring once he’s fully fit, he’ll help us to freshen things up in the forward areas, which is good.

“The fans are excited, which helps to create a positive feeling, even though that adds a bit of pressure to the lad to perform.

"That’s the game, that’s why you pay football, and it’ll be nice for him to come somewhere where the fans think highly of him.

“I won’t allow him to be comfortable, he won’t allow that of himself, and I’m hoping that he’s hungry, if you like, to show Burton what they’re missing out on.

"I want him to hit the ground running, he has a lot of years ahead of him, and his first challenge is to help us and himself to be better.”

Patrick started his career in non-league with Beaconsfield SYCOB and made a step up in levels when he was just 21 when he signed for Kidderminster Harriers.

He was spotted by Barnsley, who snapped him up on a one-year deal, and he impressed with the development squad at Oakwell which caught the eye of Bradford City along the way.

An initial one-year deal took him to Valley Parade in May 2017 and he hit the ground running when he bagged the winning goal against Blackpool on his debut in the first game of the 2017/18 season.

His contract was extended to a three-year deal with the Bantams in August 2017 and he spent the first half of the 2018/19 campaign on-loan with Yeovil Town.

The 2019/20 term saw him team up with Wrexham for a loan spell where he scored five goals in his seven starts for the Welsh outfit.

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