This time around, goalkeeper Adam Collin can look forward to a more relaxed summer break.

The Cumbrian, this time last year, was a free agent having been released by Notts County, shortly after the Magpies’ League Two play-off semi-final defeat to Coventry.

But after what he considers to have been his most consistent campaign to date, Collin agreed a deal to stay with the Cumbrians until the end of the 2019/20 season earlier this month as they look to improve on last term’s 11th-placed finish.

“It was good to get it sorted early. I didn’t want to be messing around through the summer with it all,” he admits.

“I just wanted to get it sorted, so I can enjoy my break after a long season. Then, I can get back to work at the end of June.”

He adds: “It’s totally the opposite to last summer.

"I was involved in the play-offs last summer with Notts and then got released at the end of the season. Then, you are wasting your summer, scrambling around, trying to find out who is interested and what offers and deals you have got.

“Last summer was a bit hectic but now, after a long season, I can put my feet up for a good few weeks now and recharge the batteries.”

On a personal note, it certainly proved to be a productive campaign for Collin who is in his second spell at Brunton Park.

And he was rewarded for his efforts at the club’s end-of-season presentation night as he stepped forward to receive trophies from the Carlisle United Official Supporters’ Club (CUOSC), United’s away travel fans, the Blues’ London Branch supporters and United’s season ticket holders.

“It’s fantastic,” enthuses the Penrith-born man, who also won the News & Star readers’ player of the year award, giving his reaction to collecting a quartet of gongs.

"To win all those different awards, where fans from all over the country are voting for you, whether it’s the season ticket holders, the away supporters or the London Branch or from whoever it is, it’s nice when people recognise your performances and your efforts.

"They’ve taken the time to vote for me and I’m just pleased to win them [the awards], really."

While much is still to be decided with regards to how United’s newlook team under Steven Pressley will shape up come August, there is, at least, set to be continuity in the goalkeeping department.

Former Everton man Louis Gray looks likely to compete with Collin for the Blues’ number one shirt once more, and the pair will be working with Craig Wight again after he agreed a new contract to stay at the club as head of goalkeeping.

When asked what it was like working with Wight, who came to United in November after stints in Scotland, the USA and Finland, Collin replies: “Craig has been great.

“He came in and took over from Dan Watson, who was another good coach, but Craig knows what I want.

“We have a good working relationship together. He is not a dictator, he asks me what I want and what I fancy doing, and we’ll always have a discussion about it.

“So, we work really, really well together.”

Now aged 34, Collin says that is exactly the sort of coaching he needs at this stage in his career.

The former Rotherham shot-stopper, who played a starring role in the Millers’ League One play-off final shoot-out win against Leyton Orient in 2014 after a 2-2 draw, admits: “That’s right, 100 per cent.

"I know my own body and I know how to get ready for the next game, so it’s managing that more than getting coaching at times.

“It’s making sure I am in the right condition to go into the next game. I think Craig understands that and deals with that very, very well, to be fair.”

Collin, who initially joined Carlisle from Workington Reds, believes he can still play at a high level for many years to come yet.

“A lot gets made of clubs trying to take the cheap option, trying to get an Under-23 from a Premier League club on loan and stuff like that,” he says.

“But I feel at 34, 35 and 36, you are really coming into your prime as a goalkeeper. I feel really fit, sharp and, touch wood, I feel I can go on for a couple of years yet, as well.

“I think I have probably had my best season, consistency wise. I made one big mistake away at Lincoln in the league but, apart from that, I can’t think of another one off the top of my head.

“Any goalkeeper with that record would have been very, very happy with it. I think 34 is just an age, really, isn’t it?

“Being a goalkeeper is a position where experience is massively vital and I’m really, really pleased. I feel very fit, as well, so I’m really, really pleased with everything at the minute.”

Collin, from Great Salkeld, a former member of the Castletown Football Club “nappy squad” which also produced outgoing United captain Danny Grainger, has not yet had thoughts about where he will finish his career, though.

He suggests: “I haven’t really thought about where I’m going to finish, but I’ll see where it [my career] goes, really. You never know in football.

"At the minute, I’m enjoying my football, it’s a good club to be at, with a lot of nice people in and around the club, so we will see how it goes, really.”

Another graduate from Irwin Wallace’s “nappy squad” at Castletown is Carlisle teenage winger Liam McCarron, who is from Appleby.

While only Collin, Gray, Macaulay Gillesphey, Kelvin Etuhu and Hallam Hope are contracted to stay with the Blues next term, along with new signings Jack Iredale, Christie Elliott and Jon Mellish, McCarron will lead a group of four young players who will be looking to impress first-team manager Pressley.

Also joining McCarron in the senior ranks after his breakthrough season will be Wigton lad Jarrad Branthwaite, Josh Dixon and Keighran Kerr.

Collin is looking forward to trying to help to pass his experience on to the youngsters as they attempt to earn a place in United’s first-team squad.

He admits: “I already talk to the young lads and pass on my advice, whether it’s to the goalkeepers or the likes of Liam. It’s important to get the blend right in your squad with the experience and the young lads.

“We have let go of some of the experienced lads but, hopefully, we can work the younger boys coming through. We can help blend them into the first-team environment and then help them on the pitch, as well.”