Former Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott has returned to Brunton Park as the club's new head of recruitment.

The ex-Blues boss, who was in charge at Brunton Park from 2008-13, has agreed to join Paul Simpson's backroom team.

Abbott, 58, watched United take on his former club Bradford City at Valley Parade on Saturday.

And the experienced figure has now sealed his return to Carlisle, having previously been working for Solihull Moors in a consultancy role.

Simpson has today spoken of his delight to have secured Abbott, describing the former United manager as a highly experienced person who knows the levels Carlisle will be scouting.

"I knew that I needed somebody who is experienced, and somebody who knows the leagues that we’ll be fishing in," said Simpson on the club website.

“We’ll be looking at the National League, some of League One and League Two, and maybe at the possibility of taking some Championship players out on loan, and some of the emerging younger players from the Premier League.

News and Star: Abbott watched United from the press box at Bradford on Saturday (photo: Richard Parkes)Abbott watched United from the press box at Bradford on Saturday (photo: Richard Parkes)

“I wanted somebody here who knew that, and who knows how to tap into it. I also wanted somebody who knows what it’s like to be part of Carlisle United, and who knows where Carlisle is, because that’s a challenge in itself.”

Simpson said Abbott was "enthusiastic" about the prospect of returning to Carlisle.

The Coventry-born Abbott remains the last United manager to win silverware at the club with the 2011 Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

He initially joined United in 2006 as assistant manager to Neil McDonald and then John Ward, also having two spells as caretaker boss before being appointed permanently in 2008.

He led the Blues to last-day survival in League One in his first campaign before finishes of 14th, 12th, eighth and 17th, as well as reaching the 2010 JPT final which saw defeat to Southampton, before returning the following year to defeat Brentford to clinch the trophy.

He eventually left United after a poor start to the 2013/14 season, since when he has worked in a number of roles for clubs such as Bradford and Notts County.

Simpson said he was relieved to have secured a deal to bring Abbott from his previous employers in the National League.

“He’s been working at Solihull, so he had to get things done properly there, and he wanted to make sure that he treated them with respect," United's manager added.

“That’s why I’ve been really nervous over the last week about whether or not he was going to get it sorted, because I knew he was a very valued member of their team.

“I was praying that they didn’t do everything to keep him there and I’m so pleased that he’s walked into the building today.

“This afternoon is now about sitting down and going through lists and lists of players so that we can finalise what it is we’re looking for.”

Simpson also said Abbott's vast experience would be invaluable.

“I see clubs appointing inexperienced, young people into these positions as heads of recruitment and all of these talent ID roles, but I’m a bit old school," he said.

“I like the new methods, I like the data and video analysis, and all of that, but you can’t beat an experienced football person who has got the grey hairs and who has been there and seen it and done it.

“I think he’ll be a really good addition to our team.”