Blues tipped to reach play-offs for a second year in a row
How did they do last season?
Carlisle started the campaign superbly, losing only one of their opening 23 matches and sitting second in the table at one stage. However, a dramatic dip in form saw the club drop out of the automatic promotion spots and meant their pursuit for the play-offs went down to the last day. A 2-1 win over Exeter ensured a sixth-place finish and a play-off semi-final with the Grecians. Unfortunately for the Blues, they were on the wrong end of a two part 11-goal thriller, falling to a 3-2 defeat at Exeter having drawn the first leg at home 3-3.
Who stood out?
The club’s awards evening last month left little down to opinion on who Carlisle’s star man was last season with midfielder Nicky Adams taking home five awards! In what was his first season with the Blues, Adams provided an impressive 16 assists and the former Crawley man’s fine form was instrumental in his side reaching the play-offs.
Keith Curle is set to take charge of his fourth season at Brunton Park, with his past three seasons being his longest stint at one club during his time in management. In a playing career that spanned over 20 years, Curle has represented 10 clubs, including captaining Manchester City in the Premier League. The former defender also has three England caps to his name; one of which came at Euro 92 against Denmark.
The club have announced the departures of left-back Patrick Brough, keeper Max Crocombe and forward Ben Tomlinson as their deals expire this summer. The Cumbrian side have promoted four youth players to the first team ahead of the new season, however they are yet to finalise any first team transfer business in this window.
Our meetings last season
Carlisle would have completed a double over the Reds last season if it wasn’t for Jimmy Smith’s last minute equaliser at the Checkatrade Stadium back in April. Reds had blown a two-goal lead thanks to goals from James Collins, but Smith's goal ensured the game ended 3-3 and the result proved crucial as it secured the club's League status. The reverse fixture back in October last year saw Mark Connolly score our goal in a 3-1 defeat.
Sky Bet have priced Carlisle at 16/1 to lift the League Two trophy in the upcoming season.
Pictured: Jimmy Smith in action against Carlisle United in April's vital 3-3 draw the Checkatrade Stadium.