United boss Paul Simpson spoke more about his first summer capture on Friday morning, with midfielder Owen Moxon set to sign a two-year deal with the club next month.
“I’m delighted to get this one done,” he told us. “It’s one we’ve been working on in the background probably, if Im going to be honest with you, since the day I decided I was staying.
“He’s a player I’ve seen quite a bit of. I’ve seen him live, I’ve spoken to other players, and to coaches, and Peter Murphy has been absolutely fantastic with me on this one.
“I’ve got a lot of information from him about Owen, and I feel you have to do that sort of background check on players when you’re bringing them into your club.
“I’m really pleased that I’ve got it all agreed, and the challenge now for Owen is for him to show us that he can play at this level.
“I believe he has the capability, he’s got everything in his locker, and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
“Owen was out of contract with Annan, and Murph actually came in to speak to me the day after it was announced that I was staying in this role,” he added. “When I came back in from training he was in reception waiting to speak to me about it.
“I initially said to him – oh, you’re going to make some money out of it are you, is this a deal for Annan – but he said no, he’s out of contract, he’s going to leave me, and I really think you need to consider him.
“He told me that Owen is a player of real talent and also a good personality, and I think those are two things you’ve got to have.
“I don’t want to bring the wrong characters into the building, I want hungry footballers who want to show everybody that they can play at this level, and even higher.
“I would be so delighted if in two years’ time we’re saying well done to Owen because he’s going to a higher level or, you never know, we might even be at a higher level ourselves.”
With him having picked up his personal accolades from a very good season at Galabank, he also ticks the boxes in terms of age and physicality that the manager spoke about when he outlined his vision for the squad going forward.
“He was with us up until about the age of 16, so he certainly ticks the box when it comes to the location and where he lives,” he commented. “He’s a Carlisle lad and I’ve got to say that from the first time I spoke to him a few weeks ago I could tell there was an excitement about coming and playing for his home city.
“He’s had five years of playing in Scottish football, at Queens and at Annan, and I think he’s shown that he’s capable.
“When I’m looking for a midfielder I want someone who is athletic and who has a range of passing, and somebody who may be a first contact marker from set pieces, but also who is a set play deliverer.
“I want someone who contributes goals and who can see a pass, and he’s been doing all of that for five years now. We now need to get him doing it at football league level, here in League Two with us.
“I think he’ll be a really good addition to our group.”
The move to Brunton Park brings with it the step into full-time training, with everything that goes with being a professional footballer.
“I’m sure there will be a period of transition for him, but that’s to be expected,” he said. “If I was signing him at the end of the transfer window and he’d done a part-time pre-season, and we’re then expecting him to go into an English Football League game, that’s a different challenge.
“We’ve got a good few weeks to work on him with a programme that Jamie Roper has put together, and we’ve got pre-season where he’ll come in on 22 June and he’ll join in with the rest of the group.
“He’ll obviously take part in the friendlies, and the challenge is out there for all of the players who come back to do that properly.
“Show us as a group of staff that you deserve to play, and he’s one of many who has that incentive ahead of them, because they all have the opportunity to show us that they’re the ones who will start the season for us.”
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