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Club News

MANAGER: Good luck to Joe

Paul Simpson on Joe Riley, the other three offers, Jamie Devitt and tapping up

10 May 2022

Monday night brought confirmation on social media from midfielder Joe Riley that he had decided to turn down the contract offer given to him by manager Paul Simpson, with the Carlisle boss giving his reaction to the news this afternoon.

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“We made an offer to Joe because we wanted him to be here,” he said. “I suppose the disappointment is for that to be revealed on Twitter.

“I was made aware of it this morning, but this is part of football these days. I’ve probably realised through all of the interviews today that I should probably get on Twitter, I might find things out a bit quicker.

“I spoke with Joe last Friday, and that was away from how I wanted to do things. He was on a coaching course this week, which is credit to him for looking to the future, so he wasn’t going to be here on Monday.

“I made him an offer, and my understanding of contract offers is that someone makes one, the other person considers it, then perhaps raises a few queries, and you take it from there to a conclusion, a yes or no.

“That hasn’t happened in this case, I found out that he’s gone this morning when I was told about the social media stuff.”

“The way I look at it is good luck to Joe,” he added. “He’s been very good for me in my time here, and that’s why I wanted him to stay.

“He’s either got an offer from somewhere else, or he doesn’t even want to negotiate with us, so all I can do is wish him well.

“It now adds a bit more to our budget to be able to go and strengthen again. Hopefully the other three lads we’ve made offers to will come back to join other new faces that we bring in.

“Like I say, I actually spoke to him on Friday, because he was unavailable for the game. I agreed to do that, and at no point did he say to me that’s not happening, it won’t be on, I won’t be staying.

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“Good luck to him now he’s said that, it’s football. We can’t worry about things like that, we just have to deal with it and move on.

“At least I know now I’m not waiting until 30 May to get a response from Joe, I know now that he’s gone and we move on.”

On the offers for Taylor Charters, Magnus Norman and Brennan Dickenson, he commented: “I’ve watched clips of Taylor when he’s out at Gateshead, and I went to see him myself.

“I see him being a young player who still has room for development and I hope we can keep him at the club so I can work with him. I think he can have an impact in our group.

“He ticks the box in terms of how we want to play, he can play as a left wing-back, in one of those midfield slots, whether I’m playing with two holding midfielders and a ten, or one holding midfielder and two eights.

“He can play as a left-sided forward if I want to go with a front three. He ticks the box in giving me a little bit of versatility.

“Magnus I see as a goalkeeper who I still think has a lot of things he needs to work on to improve on, but I think he’s got the physical attributes for something to work on to be a decent goalkeeper.

“If we bring another goalkeeper in, it would be up to him to show me he deserves to be number one and challenge the other guy, so that’s the challenge for him, so I’d like to keep him.

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“Brennan is a player who I think has real good qualities, I think he’s got strength, a lovely left foot, it’s probably been a bit unfair on him recently because he’s not played in his favourite position, but that’s my fault because of lack of availability of midfield players.

“I hope they will all come in and agree terms with us. We’ve made offers to them. I’m hoping we can come to an agreement.”

And expanding more on the invitation to Jamie Devitt for a pre-season return, he told us: “He’s got a great chance to stay with us, being honest.

“I like him as a character, he’s been really positive around the place, even through the spell with his injury, and he wanted to travel with the team and be part of the match day and the dressing room.

“That’s credit to him. I think he’s showing really good leadership qualities in the way he goes about his business.

“My first experience of Jamie Devitt was when he was about 17 and I took him on loan to Shrewsbury. It probably didn’t end very well so he must have worried when I was coming back into the club, but he has really grown up, he’s a good lad.

“He wanted to be involved on Saturday, but I had to make the call not to do that. He was disappointed with that, but he’s got a chance to come and show us that he can have a long period of staying fit.

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“That’s his challenge, because he’s had a tough couple of years with injury, and I want him to show me that he can stay fit. If he does that he’ll earn himself a contract, and he’ll then be a really good addition to the squad.

“I really like him as a character inside the changing room. Unfortunately for him I put him into the team at the start to try and get him fully fit through playing games, which is not the right way to do it, but it was a needs must situation when I first arrived here.

“He picked up another injury and he’s not been able to fully recover. If I was going to follow my heart I would have just given him a contract straight away. But I’ve got to be really sensible.

“We have to make sure we spend our money properly, as well as we possibly can. The challenge for Jamie is to show me he can stay fit, and show us what he can do throughout pre-season.

“He wants to be here, and that’s a massive factor. When I spoke to him I made it quite clear about the situation, and I said I’m going to be really honest with you, you haven’t done enough in terms of being available to warrant me offering a contract.

“I did say, if you get an offer to go somewhere else, but he said no gaffer, I want to come here for pre-season, show you that I’m fit enough. That says enough to me, it shows me I’ve got a player there who wants to be here.”

Having spoken about players being ‘tapped up’ in his post-match interview at the weekend, he commented: “What I don’t want to get into is a to and fro slanging match with any individual.

“That’s not my place. With hindsight I probably shouldn’t even have brought it up on Saturday, but I was talking with emotion after the game.

“I probably shouldn’t have, but I am a human being and it’s something that happened, and I’m not going to say any more about it. We move on.” 


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