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Club News

MANAGER: I'll feel really proud

Paul Simpson on leading his team out at Wembley

26 May 2023

Club News

MANAGER: I'll feel really proud

Paul Simpson on leading his team out at Wembley

26 May 2023

When Paul Simpson took over the hotseat in 2003 he faced a relegation battle.

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In 2004 it was a promotion, via a play-off final.

In 2005 it was a second consecutive promotion, this time to League One.

When he came back last season it was another – this time successfully negotiated – relegation battle.

It has to be said, his time at the helm has certainly been eventful.

And here we are now, with a potential third promotion (only Alan Ashman has done that with us before) to add to the Carlisle United segment of his CV.

His two pervious final appearances with the Blues were at Cardiff and Stoke, so how will it rank when he leads the team out at Wembley this Sunday.

“It will be more special,” he said. “My dreams as a kid were about playing at Wembley, it’s where you want to be.

“My days of walking out as a player have gone, but now I’ve got the chance to lead them out as manager.

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“I led Shrewsbury out in a play-off final as manager and I’ve been there as an assistant, but I’m really looking forward to it. I’ll be really proud.

“Obviously my family are there and I’m sure they’ll all enjoy it. Jacqui is in a really difficult position with Jake being in the other dugout. I know where her allegiance is, she wants Carlisle United to win, 100%.

“It’s a good day, my mum and dad will be there and both of the other boys will be there. It’s a great day out and something we’ve all made sacrifices for.

“We’ve had to move up and down the country because of football and we’ve all stuck together, and whatever happens this weekend I’m quite sure we’ll stick together again.”

The fact that strength coach Jake Simpson will be in the other technical area is one of those quirks that has captured the imagination of the media and the watching football community.

“It’s how it is with where we’re both working at the moment,” he said. “I’ll have to watch what I’m saying around him, but when the game starts it’s no different.

“When we played Stockport down there earlier in the season I went out of the dressing room early as I always do, and I looked across and saw, Jake but I’d forgotten he was there.

“My mind was just on the game, but he came up and gave me a hug, as we always do. It was the same when we played them here, and it’ll be the same at Wembley. I just hope I’m smiling at the end and he’s not.”


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