Adam Collin says he turned down options “much closer to home” in order to commit to Carlisle United for another season.

The keeper revealed he could have left the Blues in the summer after his impressive first campaign back at Brunton Park.

But the experienced Cumbrian said he was glad to thrash out a new deal so he could continue to enjoy his football with United.

Collin, who is based near Mansfield and runs his own coaching school in that area, will be a key player again for Carlisle in 2019/20, with the Blues preparing for their first pre-season friendly against Hibs tomorrow.

He had decisions to make at the end of last term with United having activated a clause in his contract for another season but the 34-year-old looking to negotiate those terms.

Interest from other clubs was also a consideration, with sources saying ex-United boss John Sheridan at Chesterfield was among those monitoring the situation.

Collin said: “I had options a lot closer to home, that I could have taken up.

“It was a little bit tricky, as I wasn’t technically out of contract, and Carlisle had an option on me, but we had to sort out the contract and try and get that as close to what I deemed respectable and acceptable, and we got there in the end.

“The main thing was that I enjoy playing football here regardless of the financial side of it. That was the major factor in me staying.”

Collin scooped a host of player-of-the year awards for 2018/19 after a series of outstanding displays.

He is now hoping to build on his successful return to the club.

“Last season was definitely up there as one of my best, consistency and form-wise,” said Collin, from Great Salkeld.

“It was obviously nice to get the awards at the end of the season to round it all off and get that recognition for it.

“I just think it comes down to my approach and outlook to the game now. It’s not that I don’t care, I’m just so much more laid-back and chilled about it, not too worried about other stuff that goes on and concentrate more on my own game.

“If I make a mistake, like I did away at Lincoln – that was the only real big mistake I made last season – I’m not gonna beat myself up too much about it. I just try to get back on it and try to get back up to those levels of consistency.

“When I was younger, things would play on my mind a lot more. If I did something wrong, or lost a bit of form, I would always go over it in my head. Now I’m more chilled out it makes it a lot easier.”

The big keeper and his team-mates are starting their second full week of pre-season training, with the first of their six friendlies now looming.

There has been a strong accent on fitness so far with United’s early work including a gruelling day running up the sand dunes at Lytham.

Collin said: “We gritted our teeth, worked hard together and pushed each other on.

“It was really tough, mixed up with the circuits on the beach, then up and down that sand dune 15 times, but rewarding when you’ve done it.”

United have made seven signings so far and are close to bringing in an eighth, with a loan midfielder from a Premier League club in their sights.

They remain short of attacking options and are expected to move for further loan players in that position.

Collin said: “We need more bodies, everybody knows that, but first impressions of the new signings are good – they have fitted in really well, and as pre-season goes on we will get to see how the team shapes up.

“Once you are into the friendlies then that first game of the season seems to come around really quickly.

“I’d like to think we can achieve slightly better than we did last year. We weren’t too far away from the play-offs and hopefully, if we can get the few more players in the squad we need, we can really kick on.

“It’s going to be a tough league, I think tougher than last year, with some big teams coming down and other teams who have done good business in League Two.

“You will also have the likes of Salford coming up with massive budgets.

“But pushing into those play-offs should be a realistic aim from where we are now

“I’m like a born winner – I just want to win games, want to win the league. Realistically, we’ll see whether we can do that. But I want to win as many games as I can, whether that’s on the training ground or on the pitch, it’s how I am.

“Where I want to be is trying to get this club up the leagues.”

Collin will again face competition from ex-Everton man Louis Gray this season. He said: “As a goalkeeper you always get competition and rivalry.

“I know Louis is there and itching to play some games and get his chance.

“I want the position and it’s my position to lose at the minute. I’m confident that as long as I hit the form I hit last year, that’ll be enough to see me through.”

Trialists Isaac Buckley-Ricketts, Miles Storey, Tyrone Duffus and Elliott Reeves are set to continue training with the Blues ahead of tomorrow’s friendly.

The game against Paul Heckingbottom’s Hibs side should see debuts for summer signings Jack Iredale, Christie Elliott, Jon Mellish, Harry McKirdy, Byron Webster, Jack Bridge and Nathaniel Knight-Percival.