Carlisle United have confirmed that long-serving first choice goalkeeper Mark Gillespie to leave the club when his contract expires this summer. The player has decided to seek a fresh challenge after nine years on the books with the Cumbrian side.

Last season, in their run to the play-offs, Gillespie appeared in every single league game for Carlisle. He certainly wont be easy shoes to fill. Now appears to be the right time in his career to make a step in a completely different direction. Competition for his signature is likely to be extremely high.

Manager Keith Curle says that although the player was offered a new deal, he simply decided to move on, something that he holds no grudges on,

“Mark leaves us with nothing but good wishes. He was offered a deal because we wanted him to stay but I fully respect any decision a player chooses to make about his own career.

“We had a good, long conversation and I know he has enjoyed his football and time at this club. He’s still at a very good age and I think he knows there is even more improvement to come. I’m sure we’ll all join in thanking him for his dedication and efforts.”

The man himself says that this was no an easy decision to make, but Carlise will always be ‘his club’,

“Everyone who knows me will know I’ve made this decision with a heavy heart. I’ve spoken to the manager, and had a fantastic conversation, but I’ve decided that this is the best time for me to make a decision like this.

“It’s all purely down to the fact it feels on a personal level that this is the right time for me to face a fresh challenge, for the betterment of my career and to gain even more experience of a different kind.

“What won’t change is that Carlisle United will always feel like my club. I’ve grown up there personally and professionally and there are so many people I need to thank for that – from football and club staff, to friends and family, and especially to the fans.”

About Author

I currently work as a Championship Research Analyst for Onside Analysis Ltd. In this role I provide match previews and reviews for every Championship game. I also delve into matches from all across the globe, gaining an insight into football from different leagues in different countries. I came into this role shortly after graduating from The University of Hull after studying BSc Sports Coaching & Performance. I am a Lincoln City fan and thankfully they're back in The72!!