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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Faith kept me going through dark times, says Carlisle Utd winger

Devout Catholic Andy Welsh revealed his strong faith has helped him through his nightmare season at Carlisle United.

Andy Welsh photo
Andy Welsh

Welsh had clocked up only 21 minutes of league action this season until he was drafted up for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Scunthorpe United after an injury to Chris Chantler forced boss Greg Abbott to reshuffle his side.

The 29-year-old left winger has been widely expected to quit Brunton Park during the January transfer window after falling totally out of favour under Abbott.

Welsh was delighted to get in a full 90 minutes and now hopes he will get a run in the team following an eye-catching display.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve played, and all season I’ve been raring to go,” said Welsh. “I’m delighted to be back playing. I got tired towards the end but it was just nice to be out there.

“I remember the first time I walked through the door here I was thankful to God, and that’s where I got my strength from.

“It’s my belief in God and trust in God that things will turn round, and hopefully I can stay in the team and carry on for the rest of the season, but we’ll have to wait and see.

“It’s the worst thing in the world when Saturday comes and you know you’re not even going to be coming off the bench at times.

“But I had to train myself to think I was going to be playing and that’s why I kept warming up on the touchline and running after games and after training so that when my time did come I wouldn't be coming off after 60 minutes. I stayed on for 90 minutes, although I was tired in the last 10 minutes, but I put in a good shift. I was a bit rusty in areas, but I can't be too harsh on myself as that's my first start of the season – and it's January.”

Abbott was forced to call up the former Sunderland, Blackpool and Leicester winger when Chantler limped out of training early last week with a recurrence of an ankle problem.

However, Welsh admits he is still uncertain about his long-term future, although he hopes he has given Abbott food for thought.

“I don't think anyone knows that the future holds,” he said. “Just getting back playing again is going to give me confidence and belief that I can come in and play when asked. It's great to get the nod and help the team out.

“It's always important to get a good couple of touches in the first few minutes and that happened with me and Matty. “I know Matty has been doing well down the left and Chants has been doing well at left-back so it's nice to be given the nod and work well with Matty.”

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