Carlisle United assistant boss Gavin Skelton says the Blues are thankful to the Cumbrian organisations who answered the club's SOS over training facilities.

United had the use of Kendal Rugby Club over the weekend as Chris Beech’s first-team squad got in some much-needed outdoor work.

Beech’s recent plea to the community also appears to have succeeded regarding the artificial surface at Richard Rose Central Academy, which is near Brunton Park.

It comes after a spell when United have struggled to use their own facilities – other than the indoor Neil Sports Centre and the main pitch at Brunton Park – because of the weather.

The limitations imposed by Covid-19 have also made it difficult to use certain other local facilties.

On the session at Kendal, which came as Beech’s squad prepared for their return to action at Harrogate Town tomorrow, Skelton said: “We contacted them and they were brilliant.

“They own it privately and they were happy for us to train there, and they were very accommodating. That made it really easy for us to get our sessions on.

“We managed to get onto a full sized astro pitch which was great to get some work into the lads.

“We really appreciate the rugby club opening up so we could get some vital training done ahead of the busy period we’ve got coming up.

“Importantly it was outdoors in the fresh air and on a full-sized pitch, and that’s great for us and the lads.

“We could relate the session to a game and that gave it a proper training feel, which we all enjoyed.”

Asked if United might make the most of the relationship with the south Cumbrian club again, Skelton said: “Yes, definitely, and we’ve built up some good contacts.

“We’ve trained at Penrith in the past, and Richard Rose have reached out and they’re also going to help us. If the weather means we need to use that facility we know we’re now in a position to do that.

“It would be so easy for people to say no but they’ve gone the other way and made sure that things like insurance and permissions are all in order so that we can train there.

“That’s just magnificent. People have actually made extra workload for themselves to help us to get somewhere to train – that’s the case with Richard Rose, and I can’t explain how grateful we are.”

Skelton says other schools in the area have also been in touch regarding their facilities following Beech’s appeal, which he made in a press conference last Tuesday.

“It just shows us that the community want to back us and want to see us do well,” he said. “We’re really grateful to everyone who has offered help in any way. People have taken their own time to help us which they don’t have to do.”

Skelton says the way the community has stepped up for United makes the Blues all the more keen to bring some success this season.

“We’re desperate to do well for the fans and the whole community and things like that make you want to do something good for them,” he said.

“We obviously want to do well for ourselves as well, but when people want to help you, you want to reward that.”