THE hottest mobile phone in England on the morning of Friday, September 7 belonged to Russell Hope. It is not every day, after all, that your son scores twice on his international debut.

"Dad knows a lot of people on the island," Hallam Hope says. "Barbados is a really small place, where everything that happens gets talked about. All his friends were phoning him. It was a really proud moment."

Although football moves fast, and Hope's eyes are fixed on Carlisle United's game against Bury today, he accepts that his first game in Bajan colours provided memories for a lifetime, a 2-2 draw with Guyana in which the 24-year-old shone.

Not least for his family. Although Hope moved to England aged six, and had played for his adopted nation up to Under-20 level, he says it was an easy decision to answer Barbados' call.

He also remembers enough of his formative years in the Caribbean to smile broadly when asked to think back. "I moved there when I was one, and we lived there for five years," he says. "I started school there. It's a place that I really, really like and it's close to my heart."

Hope's early childhood was spent in the Enterprise Coast Road area, at the south of Barbados. "It's a really nice part of the island. I've got loads of memories from my childhood. A lot of swimming, the beaches, surfing, fishing, all the stuff you do. My nana, who looked after me quite a lot, my's a big part of me.

"My mum brought us to England, because she's from here and her family is here, and she thought we'd have better opportunities here, which has worked out. But I try and get back when I can, in the summer. I still keep in contact regularly with my family who live there."

His Bajan father, in particular, cherished news of his call-up. "I spoke to him the morning after the game, because it was one in the morning UK time when we were playing," Hope says. "He was just saying he's proud of me."

Hope had been approached months earlier by the Barbados FA, but preferred to be available for competitive Carlisle games than feature in friendlies. The onset of the CONCACAF Nations League was a different matter, and Hope joined the squad along with Mansfield defender Krystian Pearce.

He did so two days before the Guyana game, in Georgetown, proudly photographed in the Tridents' national shirt and captured in a Facebook video, along with Pearce, singing to his team-mates. "It was an initiation, the Barbados song," he says. "All the lads have to do it."

Did he know the words? "No, no," he laughs. "They had to go through it with me. But it was a good laugh."

On his way out of his hotel, Hope told room-mate Nicoli Brathwaite that he would score twice against the Guyanese - and made good on his prediction in what he describes as "quite a mad game". Guyana took the lead through Trayon Bobb, then Hope hit them twice - first with a measured, curling finish from the edge of the box, then a close-range diving header.

Neil Danns' late goal then denied Barbados victory. "The crowd was great, it was a really good atmosphere," Hope says. "It meant a lot to everyone on the pitch. It was a shame we couldn't hold out, as we haven't beaten Guyana for something like 19 years. But it was a positive result for the country and we're looking forward to getting a few more."

His next opportunity is likely to come against El Salvador on October 14. It is unfortunate that Carlisle may again lose one of their main attacking players for a game or two but John Sheridan, a 34-cap Ireland international himself, has not stood in the way of his player representing his country.

Guyana's Danns, Hope says, spoke to him before the September 6 game, offering advice and encouragement. It so happens that the pair are in opposition again today, not in the Caribbean but in Greater Manchester. They are also former team-mates, Hope having spent three years with Bury, and this afternoon's trip to Gigg Lane with the Blues also offers memories.

"We had a promotion, which was a big thing, me and Kelvin [Etuhu] were both there, and that's the best memory," he says. "There were ups and downs, as there are at any football club, but I'm a Carlisle player now and looking to get the win there."

All in a blue shirt will have that aim, United's positive start to the season checked by home defeat to Tranmere last weekend. They are, though, level on points with Bury and League Two remains so tight that one win can work wonders for your position.

"We thought we put in a good performance [against Tranmere] - good enough to win the game," Hope says. "We didn't take some good chances and they took theirs. That's football. We're disappointed but we're going to put it right.

"We had a look at the table in the changing room after the game. It's still relatively early days and I think we've had a pretty good start to the season. If we play like we did [last Saturday] we'll be alright."

Hope is in his second season as a permanent Carlisle player, now under Sheridan's wing having been courted ardently by Keith Curle. Usually on the left of United's attack, this would be a good day for the former Everton player to add to his two goals so far in 2018/19.

"The manager and his staff - Tommy [Wright], Muzza [Paul Murray], have helped me quite a lot," Hope says. "They've told me to worry about attacking, not so much defending. All the lads give me confidence and give me the ball in attacking positions, players like Jamie Devitt making great passes, Kelvin tackling and getting the ball out wide to me."

Is there an extra edge when facing a former club, as he will today? "Yes and no," Hope smiles. "I'm just looking forward to it. Bury have got a good team and good players, but they'll be worrying about us just as much as we're worrying about them."

This feeling of making the opposition worry is one he will also aim to take back onto the international stage in a few weeks' time. Carlisle's latest man good enough to play for his country, to make his dad the proudest of men in the process, is eager for more.

"After my career, I'll always be able to say I scored two on my debut for Barbados," he says. "It's a big achievement for me. But I don't want to rest on that. I want to progress. I want to get better and better."