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CONTRACT: Welcome back to Brunton Park!

A very familiar face signs on the dotted line

19 January 2023

Club News

CONTRACT: Welcome back to Brunton Park!

A very familiar face signs on the dotted line

19 January 2023

Carlisle United are delighted to welcome a familiar face back to Brunton Park as striker Joe Garner joins the Blues on an 18-month contract which keeps him with the Blues until the end of the 2023/24 season.

Garner, 34, first came to Carlisle from Blackburn on a loan deal in January 2007, and he quickly became a favourite as he netted five goals in 18 appearances.

He was captured for £140,000 in the summer of that year, and 14 goals in 35 games caught the eye of a number of clubs. Nottingham Forest won the race for his signature for a club record fee of £1.14m.

He went on to have a fantastic career, having notched up close to 150 career goals with the likes of Preston, Rangers, Wigan, Ipswich and Forest.

It was at Preston where Garner helped Simon Grayson’s side to promotion from League One in 2014/15, firing 27 goals in a campaign which ended with play-off success.

He had a spell out of the country, with Apoel, before opting to come back to Fleetwood in the summer of 2021. He bagged eight goals in 42 appearances for the Cod Army.

Manager Paul Simpson said: “He’s a great addition to the squad and I’m really pleased that we’ve got it over the line. It’s taken a little bit of work but we think he’s going to complement what is already a strong group really well.

“Another massive thing about this is that he’s made it quite clear from the off that he wants to be here. The reason it’s taken so long isn’t because of the fact that he didn’t want to come, it’s the exact opposite.

“He wanted it sorted as much as we did but these things sometimes take a bit of time. He’s here now and I’m looking forward to working with him.

“I think he’ll be a really good person and character to have in the dressing room because he drives standards on and off the grass. I’m sure our supporters will be delighted to see him back.”

On what he adds to the team on the pitch, he told us: “He adds a bit of nous and know-how. He brings a bit of nastiness, and a way of really causing problems, and along with all of that he’s also a really good striker.

“He’s different to the others we’ve got and I’ve said for a while that I wanted another experienced striker, and he certainly ticks that box.

“JK Gordon fills the space of a forward with pace which we were looking for, and we all know what our others forward bring, so Joe is going to add to that mix and give us options quite nicely.

“The signings we’ve made so far not only give everybody a lift, in terms of competition for places and the edge that bringing new people in gives you, but hopefully they’ll also help us to push on through these next 20-odd games.”

On the length of the deal, he said: “Joe is here to throw himself into this and he really does want to do well for the club.

“I don’t want anybody coming here thinking they’ve found themselves a short-term fix. I want players who are driven, and he definitely is.”

As to whether or not we can expect any more activity, he commented: “I actually don’t know yet to be perfectly honest with you.

“I’m going to have a look at where we are in terms of the budget and what we can do now that we’ve brought a few in.

“What I will say is that I’ve had conversations with the chairman and the board and they’re telling me that we need to do what we need to do.

“I’m still really conscious that I don’t want to fleece the club for money and, another thing to consider, is that when I look at the group now I don’t see too many holes that we need to fill. I’m fairly happy with where it is at the moment.”

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