Skip to main content Skip to site footer

INTERVIEW: Ready for a completely different challenge

Corey Whelan on getting ready for life in League One

18 July 2023


INTERVIEW: Ready for a completely different challenge

Corey Whelan on getting ready for life in League One

18 July 2023

Defender Corey Whelan is going through his second summer pre-season programme with the club, and he spoke after the Workington friendly on Saturday about the fact that it isn’t getting any easier, with the hard yards to be covered ahead of the start of another tough campaign.

Club News

FAIR GAME INDEX: Carlisle rank second in the country

17 July 2023

“It definitely doesn’t get any easier, believe me” he said. “Having said that, it’s more relaxed this year. It was a lot tougher last season after we’d had a longer extended break, but it doesn’t get any easier.

“Runs are runs whenever you do them, but it’s necessary for how we play. We base ourselves off that, the manager wants us to play that way, locking onto teams and making it difficult for them to play.

“To do that you have to work hard and achieve certain distances, so you’ve got to put your body through it in pre-season. If you do that it puts you in good stead for the season ahead.

“I’m feeling really good and I think I speak on behalf of most of the lads when I say that it’s good to be out there again. What you want is games under your belt leading into the season and I’m feeling fit and healthy, so long may it continue.”

A plus side to the shorter than normal off-season break is the fact that fitness levels now just need to be topped up rather than rebuilt for the bulk of the squad.

“It was a shorter break, so we didn’t expect to lose loads in terms of general fitness and things like that,” he told us. “We had a good summer, we all enjoyed it with what happened at the back end of last year.

“It’s good, we’re all getting those minutes on the pitch and that’s the main thing at the moment. Mind you, only getting four weeks is something that’s brand new to me.

“I’ve never just had four weeks off since I’ve been a footballer, so the break did feel short and sweet. We were with family and friends and stuff like that and we all managed to get away, so that was good.

Club News

GALLERY: Workington

16 July 2023

“Unfortunately we didn’t get to do it as a team, that would have been nice, but at least we managed to get some time away. Mind you, I got to 10 days out and I was already starting to think about getting back to it again, so it maybe was quite a short break after all.”

The reason behind the late finish was, of course, the things football memories are made of.

“I don’t think any of us would swap it,” he agreed. “If there was an opportunity to swap it for eight weeks off I don’t think anyone would.

“The fact we could go all the way and do that in front of our fans at Wembley was brilliant. You want more days like that in football, we all know they don’t come around too often. But that’s done, and we’re ready now to get going in League One.

“And that’s massive for this club, most definitely. When you look up and down the league table at some of the away games we’ve got, and we know the fans will be there supporting us.

“You’ve got to be excited about that because there are big teams who will give us tough tests along the way. We’re just ready to go, get our teeth into it and see what happens.

“We’re all confident we’ll do well. Club status and budgets all get thrown into the mix when you talk about this league and the Championship, but we know where we are as a club.

“We know we probably haven’t got the biggest budget but you can see what can take a group forward with how we did it last season. If you’re tight knit and do things properly it breeds good things. Like I say, we’re just ready to get going now.”

Match Reports

FRIENDLY: Workington

15 July 2023

The togetherness and team spirit was something that was talked about a lot last term, from both inside the club and from those looking in.

“That makes a big difference, but let’s not forget we were a good football team as well,” he commented. “We didn’t play too badly at all in a lot of the games, but I think the togetherness was massive for us.

“You do hit bumps in the road, I think we went four games without scoring a goal at one point, and it’s quite easy to get disheartened when something like that happens.

“We didn’t allow ourselves to feel down, we stuck together, we had a chat within the group, I think it was after the Salford game, and we agreed that we were going to Sutton to do it properly.

“After that we knew it was business time and we agreed that we needed to get out there and finish what we’d started. We did that and it was a great group throughout the year.

“There are a few new faces now, but it’s not too dissimilar because there are some of the old ones as well. We now just need to come together again and build on what we did.

“We’ll do part of that in Scotland next week. It’s important and we’ll look to do the same as we did last season where we came back from Largs a really tight group.

“There are lads who are new so it’s a good time to get away from family and friends and have no distractions as a group. The focus will be on getting to know each other and we’re looking forward to it, it’ll be good.”

Club News

CUSG: Women & Girl’s Rep / HerGameToo Ambassador (P/T Voluntary Role)

14 July 2023

The challenge once the season starts will be take on the next level up, League One, with the same levels of confidence and determination that served so well last time round.

“There is a buzz but this is a new season now,” he insisted. “It’s a completely different challenge to what’s just passed.

“You do have to hold onto it a little bit because days like that at Wembley are what you cherish. You hope that it’ll happen again, and some lads will get it, some won’t. That’s why you have to hold onto the team spirit, you don’t want to let that go.

“But it’s a new season now, new teams, a proper test at the next level up. It’s something to really look forward to.

“I think there’s a lot of lads in there who will feel they’ve got points to prove. We’re all ready to take knowledge from players who have played higher in leagues above, and others have had tastes of it before, so it’s like I said earlier, we all need to come together and understand that we have one goal to aim for. I think if we stick together we might just surprise a few.”

“It is starting to feel a little bit more real now,” he continued. “I spoke to a few lads who left the club and they said it didn’t sink in for a long time with what happened last season.

“We know now it’s real that we’re in League One and we’re here to prove ourselves. We’re not here to be just a passenger in it, we want to surprise a few teams this year. If we go about it and do it properly we’ll be fine.

Club News

INTERVIEW: We still want more

16 July 2023

“We’re not here to make up numbers. When you go out on any pitch you want to win. You’re not there to be rolled over. We’re ready to crack on and get the ball rolling and we’re all excited about it.

“I don’t think it’s massive step up. It’s a step up in leagues and you look at some of the calibre of teams up and down the division, you’ve got the likes of your Readings, Blackpools, Wigans, teams that I’ve not yet named.

“It’s going to be tough, we know that, but we’re here to upset the party. We’re here to surprise a few, that’s what we want to do. It’s a great challenge for everyone.”

A player who has 74 appearances to his name for his current club, he’s taken on the role of captain on a number of occasions already, including during the three friendly fixtures played so far.

“Being the captain of the team is a good thing in my opinion,” he said. “I think it’s nice for me and if it helps me and my career along the way then that’s good.

“It shows that you’re reliable and trustworthy and it’s a good role to have. Helping others along the way is a good thing to do.”

And the wearing of the armband is reward for a professional approach from the centre back that is often highlighted by the manager.

“It’s always nice to hear things like that,” he admitted. “I think I’ve said in previous interviews that if my name isn’t getting said then it means I’m doing something alright.

“I don’t tend to read too much into it. It’s nice words and of course you appreciate it, but ultimately you’re here to do a job.

“The club and the fans deserve your one hundred percent effort all the time so I know if I can give that and keep feeding information to some of the younger players and new faces then I’ll continue to do so.”

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account