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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Call-up for Brad Potts can help attract youngsters to Carlisle Utd

Peter Murphy believes Carlisle United starlet Brad Potts’ selection for England Under-19s could encourage Cumbria’s hottest kids to snub big clubs like Newcastle United and sign for the Blues.

Brad Potts photo
Brad Potts

The Carlisle defender and one-cap Ireland international reckons Potts’ rise to international recognition is a ringing endorsement of the club’s flourishing youth policy.

Potts became the first Carlisle player since Paul Reid in 2000 to win an England Under-19 cap when he played in last night’s 1-0 friendly win over Finland at Telford.

The 18-year-old midfielder played the whole of the first half and nearly set up a goal with a dangerous header into the box just before half-time.

Apart from a golden decade in the nineties when Carlisle unearthed future Premier League players like Rory Delap and Scott Dobie, promising players have frequently snubbed the Cumbrians in favour of signing for bigger clubs.

But Murphy believes a talented new generation has emerged and Potts’ success last night will help attract potential stars of the future to the club.

Murphy, who made his sole international appearance against Bolivia in the USA in 2007, said: “For any young player, if you look at the likes of Newcastle or Middlesbrough, your chances might be limited but you know here you’re going to have a good chance of playing if you get your head down and do well.

“Carlisle have established themselves as a League One club and has a manager who is prepared to give young players a chance, so it is all positive.

“The young players have done well in the youth cups so it’s all looking good for the club going forward and the progression of young players.

“Hopefully Brad keeps going and he will have the world at his feet.

“To represent your country at any level is brilliant for you and your family, but especially England as it is harder to play for England with the amount of talent about.

“It’s a big honour for Eric Kinder [head of youth] and the manager for being brave enough to put these kids in.

“It is a great ‘well done’ to everyone but it has all stemmed from Pottsy himself.”

Potts is one of four youngsters, along with Dave Symington, Mark Beck and Josh Todd, who have risen through the youth ranks and been handed their first-team chance this season.

The youngster has filled the gap left by injured captain Paul Thirlwell in recent matches, but can also play at right-back.

And Murphy admits the club’s senior pros have been hugely impressed by the new Brunton babes.

“We have three or four of the young boys from last season who have become pros,” he said.

“They took on board what was asked of them and came back fit and strong in the summer, and they are developing now into first-team players.

“They’re not ready to play week in, week out at the moment but it is looking good for the club for next season when they have a year’s experience under their belt.

“Brad has done brilliantly at right-back and central midfield in the holding role.

“For a player of 18, he looks a great prospect, but so do the other lads so it’s great for the club.”

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