Steven Pressley did not rule out a future role at Carlisle Utd for Danny Grainger as he paid tribute to a "fantastic ambassador" for the club.

The Blues' manager said he initially tried to persuade Grainger against his decision to retire from playing at the end of this season.

Pressley, though, said he understood and respected the United captain's decision.

And he said it would be well worth considering a future position at Brunton Park for someone with such close ties to the club.

Pressley said: "It’s something that I like, and I actually spoke to him on this - even within the club in some capacity, would there be [a possible role], even if it was to start his coaching career in the academy?

"These are good platforms, things that great servants to the club should be involved in.

“He’s got his A Licence as well, so he’s qualified. This is something maybe the club and him can speak about moving forward.

"I think it’s very important these types of players, one, are looked after, and two, can also give a lot back to the club.”

Pressley said he had a long conversation with Grainger at the weekend as the Cumbrian defender explained his decision.

“I spoke to him at length. I reminded him he was only 32 and it’s quite young," Pressley said.

“I also said that I retired at 35 and in hindsight, I probably feel I retired a couple of years too young. Others will disagree! But I felt that myself.

“I think you should try and play as long as you can. But I also understand every player is different and you reach certain stages...

"I think Danny is the type of player who has to play with an edge. He’s not reliant on his speed and those aspects. He’s reliant on playing with an edge.

“I think sometimes when you lose that little edge, it sometimes is the right time.

"If, in his own mind, the playing side of it has just lost that little edge, maybe it’s the right decision.

“Sometimes your head can be turned by other things as well. He has maybe had his eye on his after-football career for a while. Maybe opportunities come your way and when your head’s turned and you lose a bit of edge, maybe it is the right decision.

“We can all give advice but it’s really only the player and person that truly knows what’s going on inside his head and his body.

“After trying to persuade him differently I then understood his decision and respected that.

"He’s been a fantastic ambassador not just on the pitch for this club but with his work in the community."

Pressley paid tribute to Grainger for his career and the way he has conducted himself as a professional.

“He’s played nearly 470 games, which is a terrific tally," United's boss said. "He’s also won the Scottish Cup with Hearts. He’s had a very fruitful career, probably beyond his expectations when he was a young player.

“He can be very proud of what he’s achieved in his time.

“I would use the words 'very conscientious' to describe him. He’s a good professional. He’s maximised his career and I think he cares about people.

“He’s a really good person."