A look ahead to this season's opponents.
With the play-offs finished, the League 2 line-up for the new season is decided. We will be taking a look at each of our rivals over the next few weeks, with Carlisle next on the list.
Who are ya?
Carlisle finished 10th in League Two last season with 67 points.
The Cumbrians currently find themselves without a manager following the exit of Keith Curle. Curle had been the Blues manager for over three and a half years, taking them to last season’s League Two play-off semi-final. Since 2014, the former England defender had led the club to 20th, 10th and sixth-placed finishes.
A club statement confirmed the 54-year-olds departure back in April: “following a meeting with directors on Wednesday, Keith Curle has decided to move on and further his career elsewhere.”
An illustrated playing career, Curle racked up over 700 appearances which included spells at Bristol City, Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers and scored 35 goals.
The former manager didn’t hold back when being questioned about his decision to leave the Cumbrians at the end of last season, expressing his honest feelings about the situation.
“At the minute I don’t think they’re in a position to properly invest and give the manager the opportunity to challenge for a top three place,” he said. “I’ve been here just over three seasons, and I need to be challenging for a top three place.”
“The club, supporters, stakeholders and players, now need to turn their attention to their future. That’s very important. The foundations and the pillars are in place for the club to build on.”
Ins and Outs
Defender Patrick Brough, goalkeeper Max Crocombe, striker Ben Tomlinson as well as James Hooper, Alexander McQueen and Joe Ward were all released at the end of the season. New deals have been offered to James Bailey, Mark Gillespie, Jabo Ibehre, Jason Kennedy and Michael Raynes.
Former Red Nicky Adams confirmed at the end of the season he would be moving on from Brunton Park and has recently signed for Bury.
Fan favourite Nicky Adams was a Red during our first two seasons in League One, scoring 13 goals in 82 appearances, 80 of which were starts. Adams spent two years with the Cumbrians, scoring three goals in 59 appearances. The midfielder has recently signed for former League One side Bury to make it his third stint with the Shakers.
Signing on loan for the Cumbrians last year, striker Jamie Proctor will be a familiar face to some Reds. The Preston born forward joined Crawley from Swansea in January of the 2013/14 season, scoring 13 goals in 62 appearances. During his time at Carlisle, Proctor netted four times in his 17 appearances, including a goal at the Checkatrade Stadium in a 3-3 draw with the Reds back in 2017.
Midfielder Mike Jones is another Blue that has a connection with the Reds. Jones spent two years with Crawley, signing from Sheffield Wednesday in 2012. The 30-year-old made quite the impression on his debut as a Red, assisting Nicky Ajose during a 1-0 win against Preston. The Experienced midfield man joined the Cumbrians in 2016 and has since made 46 appearances.
Our previous fixtures against the Cumbrians have been fairly poor, picking up just one win from ten meetings. Last season Reds took a point from the visit to Brunton park in March and it was a brace for loanee Karlan Ahearne-Grant that produced a second-half comeback. Hallam Hope was the only goalscorer in the fixture at the Checkatrade Stadium back in September.
2012 was the last time we picked up three points against Carlisle, with goals from Nathan Byrne and Nicky Adams securing the win away from home in September. Since then, Reds have drawn five times and lost four.