Another Carlisle "old boy" is back at Warwick Road, excited about the prospect of playing with the young, talented group the club has put together.
Matthew Minett, 24, first joined the club at 10 years of age and went through the junior ranks until going off to Northumbria University.
He’s now back, living and working in the city, and enjoying the pre-season build-up as Carlisle look forward to playing in North One West.
“I was actually born in Bury St Edmonds and didn’t move up to Carlisle until I was 10,” he said. “I come from a rugby family and, after arriving in Carlisle on the Friday, I was down the rugby club on the Monday and most of my rugby has been for the club.
“There are one or two new faces but I know most of the lads who are there now, and of course, I know the head coach David Stout. I’ve really enjoyed his style of coaching.
“I know Max Connon through our time at Carlisle as youngsters, although he is two years older. We played together at Northumbria University.
“I had one season playing for the University first XV and it was a pretty demanding fixture list, taken very seriously by everyone involved."
Minett, who operates at centre, had also travelled home to Carlisle during his time at University to play for the club, and he also had a year off when he went back-packing in Asia and Australia. He has also had the pleasure of representing Cumbria at Twickenham in the 2015 County Shield final.
“That was a terrific experience, even though we lost 34-17. Cumbria had been there two years beforehand, losing narrowly to Surrey so it was an honour to be chosen for the second final,” he said.
Head coach David Stout has been delighted with the way that pre-season training has been going.
“I think we have an exciting group of young players and are covered in most of the positions. It’s particularly pleasing to see former players coming back to the club," he said.
“Max Connon is going to be really influential out there on the field. He has joined us essentially as a player, but also as a young man who wants to learn about coaching.
“Any time he feels like getting involved in a coaching session he will do, but for the most part he is a key player for us."