Steven Pressley says Carlisle United’s new home-grown pros will get every chance to prove they are worth a first-team place.

Four Cumbrian teenagers will be involved with the senior squad from the start of pre-season.

They will include two youth team players handed professional deals this summer, joining two other youngsters who stepped up last season.

Manager Pressley plans to involve Liam McCarron, Jarrad Branthwaite, Keighran Kerr and Josh Dixon in United’s pre-season work, including their programme of friendlies.

He says it is important that such home-grown players are part of the first-team scene at the earliest opportunity.

Pressley said: “They will get the opportunities.

“The four young players we have signed on longer-term contracts will all be part of the first-team group.

“I’m a strong believer in integrating your [young] players quickly into the first-team group because I think it speeds up their development.

“They will train with the group every day and they will certainly be part of the pre-season group involved in the games.”

Midfielder Dixon and forward Kerr stepped up from the youth team at the end of last season.

Both were also involved in the recent trialist week at Brunton Park which Pressley used to sift through a number of free agents ahead of the return to training in late June.

The manager is believed to have pinpointed a small number of trialists to invite back.

Winger McCarron, meanwhile, has returned to fitness after missing the end of last season through injury having made 20 first-team appearances.

Defender Branthwaite was handed a senior deal in February.

United remain in talks with several potential transfer targets as Pressley and director of football David Holdsworth seek to bolster the first-team numbers after a host of recent departures.

The manager has conceded there is a lot of hard work ahead to rebuild the squad.

While new faces will be required in a host of positions, Pressley said he was pleased there will be continuity in at least one department.

That is after both senior keepers Adam Collin and Louis Gray recently signed new deals.

“It’s a massive boost. I’m really chuffed with that,” Pressley said.

“David had quite drawn-out negotiations with both of them and they both agreed to stay with the club, and I honestly can say I’m truly delighted with that.

“Both are the right type of characters, both apply themselves brilliantly on a daily basis and I think both have improved greatly under [coach] Craig [Wight’s] stewardship.

“It gives us a solid base to build from. It gives us continuity as well, which, looking at the squad from last season, we may not have a great deal of continuity.

“But they give us that and I was delighted to get them over the line.”