Louis Gray insists he remains as “hungry” as ever to fight Adam Collin for Carlisle United’s first-team goalkeeper’s spot once again next season.

Gray, 23, will work alongside experienced Cumbrian shot-stopper Collin and “head of goalkeeping” Craig Wight once more in the 2019/20 campaign, with all three having agreed fresh one-year contracts.

Collin had a superb season between the sticks last term, which restricted Gray’s first-team opportunities.

“It’s the life of a goalkeeper, only one can play,” admitted Gray.

“Adam was playing when I came in, he did well and won numerous player-of-the-season awards, so there wasn’t anything really that I could do, other than work hard and be ready for the chance if it came.”

But Gray, who did play regularly for Carlisle in their Cumberland Cup-winning side and saved a penalty in last month’s final in a 3-1 success against Penrith AFC, believes he has impressed senior figures at Brunton Park with his attitude.

“Some may think that it’s been frustrating, but I don’t really look at it that way,” he said.

“I think the fact I played no minutes for the club in the league and they offered me a new deal says a lot about myself and how I do things. I’m happy with how it’s gone.”

And Gray added: “I don’t think it [spending most of the season on the bench] makes me more hungry because I’ve always been hungry.

"It’s just the case of keep doing what I’m doing.

"Everybody at the club knows exactly what I’m about, hence the new deal. We’ll just see what the start of the season brings.”

There appears to be real camaraderie between Carlisle’s keepers, and Gray says he enjoys his rivalry with Collin for the number one shirt.

On his relationship with 34-year-old Collin, Gray said: “It’s very good. Me and Adam get on well. 

“He’s been playing, I’ve been supporting him and wanting him to do well. I have my ideas from working with previous coaches, Adam has his ideas.

"Obviously, he is older, so he takes it a bit lighter on the training pitch. But it’s good. I help Craig, he helps me and we all work together.”

And Gray, who re-joined United last October, admits he is looking forward to getting a full pre-season under his belt.

He said: “Obviously Dan Watson, the old goalie coach, asked me to come back after my loan here.

"So, I’m looking forward to having a full pre-season under my belt and we’ll see where it takes me.”