Carlisle United midfielder Liam Lightfoot says he is passionate about the club and can't wait to get back into training.

After earning his first professional contract before the lockdown, Lightfoot says he can't wait to prove himself at the next level.

And the youngster said he was 'over the moon' to get a contract and that it was a huge weight off his shoulders.

"As a player I’m a hard worker, determined and passionate. I like to think I’m a decent passer and I don’t mind a tackle or two as well," he told the Carlisle United website. "I’ve supported this club since I was a young lad so I’m very passionate about it.

“When it comes to positions, I think I’m quite versatile. At the start of my scholarship I came in as a centre back, but in my second year Eric [Kinder] and Birchy [Mark Birch] spoke to me about pushing up and into a holding midfield role.

“I do think that holding role is my best position, especially because I’ve had experience at the back and I know what a centre back wants from someone playing in my role. I feel like I know where to position myself to help protect the back line, and I feel like I can offer plenty to the team going forward.”

He admitted that until he got the offer, he didn't know which way it would go.

“I was over the moon when I was told I was getting offered a pro contract,” he said. “When we were told when the meetings were going to happen I think we were all anxious as well as excited. You wanted it to come but didn’t want to get your hopes up too high. It was amazing when the outcome was what I wanted to hear.

“You go into the meeting without any idea of how it’s going to go, even though you obviously hope you’ve done enough to earn a contract. I was nervous going into the room, so it was relief to hear that I’d been given the deal.

“I couldn’t stop smiling and I was absolutely buzzing. All the hard work I’ve put in over the last two years, as well as through my time in the academy has paid off, but now I’ve got to make sure I keep working hard and push for a place in the first team."

And now he is looking firmly forward, he added: "I can’t wait to get back into training properly with the first team and being a part of it all. I’ve got some of my best friends who will be there with me as well because there are so many of us who have been offered contracts.

“I think with us coming through into the first team as a group who know each other really well will help us all. If one of us has a bad training session or something like that we’ll all support each other.

“We all talk to each other all the time anyway, so it will be nice to have people like that with you who you know you can communicate with. It will also be good to get to know new signings and obviously work even closer with the players who are still here from last year.

“The gaffer has told me he wants me to maintain a position in the squad each week, and make sure I do everything I can to get on the bench regularly, as well as obviously looking to be on the pitch as much as I can.

“I know I’ve got to work hard and make sure I’m ready for whenever we get back into training, we obviously don’t know when that is, so we’ve just got to keep working hard.”