You have just hours left to cast your vote for the News & Star’s Carlisle United player of the year for 2020/21.


Our poll has already attracted hundreds of votes, and this is your chance to have your say before the voting closes at 11.59pm today.

It’s been a season like no other – and now it’s time to crown the Carlisle United player who has shone the most.

The Blues’ 2020/1 campaign will long be remembered as a campaign played under the cloud of Covid-19.

At Brunton Park, United have embarked on a compelling and challenging season which at one stage looked set for glory before a more testing second half which has left the play-offs out of reach.

It is now down to you, the supporters, to decide which member of Chris Beech’s squad has done more than most to drive United on.

With a stipulation that a player must have started at least 10 league games at the time this poll opens, it leaves plenty of options open in the voting for our player of the year trophy, which is sponsored by the Longhorn Trophies Division of Carlisle Glass.

One man who may attract attention is CALLUM GUY, who has been a consistent performer in United’s midfield and also contributed the most assists by a Blues player for five seasons.

But what about goalscoring? Across 2020/21 nobody has contributed more than JON MELLISH, whose tally of 16 so far has been the best scoring return by a Blues midfielder since the 1960s.

News and Star: Jon Mellish (photo: Richard Parkes)Jon Mellish (photo: Richard Parkes)

The middle of the park has also seen a glut of high-energy displays from JOE RILEY, who was originally signed to compete at right-back but has instead made himself a mainstay of Chris Beech’s midfield.

They are likely to be among the main contenders – but what about other positions?

In goal, PAUL FARMAN has contributed a solid number of clean sheets and has, for most of the season, held off the challenge of fellow summer signing Magnus Norman to hold down the No1 position.

With two penalty saves and plenty of commanding, vocal performances, the keeper could be a contender for our prize.

News and Star: Paul Farman (photo: Richard Parkes)Paul Farman (photo: Richard Parkes)

Or will your attention instead turn to United’s defenders?

If so, vice-captain AARON HAYDEN could be in the running, the centre-half coming to the fore in his first full season of regular selection in the Blues’ back four.

Hayden has also taken on extra seniority in the United squad and is also one of many players who has shown a keenness to represent the Blues well in the community.

Alongside him at the back, ROD MCDONALD is also in the running, the experienced centre-half having contributes well in some of United’s best runs of form of the campaign.

Or could RHYS BENNETT’s impact after his autumn arrival – which included a player-of-the-month shortlisting – catch your attention?

In the full-back positions, GEORGE TANNER’s displays before his December shoulder injury were of a particularly high standard.

On the other side, skipper NICK ANDERTON was a mainstay at left-back until JACK ARMER stepped up with some highly promising performances.

Armer has also shown his versatility by performing solidly at right-back and is clearly a player with a bright future.

United’s attack, meanwhile, offers a handful of contenders.

News and Star: Lewis Alessandra (photo: Richard Parkes)Lewis Alessandra (photo: Richard Parkes)

LEWIS ALESSANDRA has the most goals of any of Carlisle’s forwards and the experienced attacker has brought plenty of his know-how and selfless work to the side in 2020/21.

He recently passed the 500 appearance milestone and his consistency could attract votes in our poll.

JOSHUA KAYODE has been key to Beech’s tactical approach and the young Rotherham loan man brought plenty to the table in United’s surge to the top of the table by early January.

Alongside those men, OMARI PATRICK has been a regular attacking presence and hit a real bust of form in United’s winning December run.

GIME TOURE has also brought spells of excitement in bursts whether starting or from the bench, the French forward starting the season particularly well.

More recently, OFFRANDE ZANZALA has made a good impact since his January arrival, scoring a cluster of goals that helped to keep United’s play-off hopes alive.

So who, out of these 15 first-team regulars, gets your vote? Over to you…

To vote, click on the link at the top of this article.

Alternatively, email your choice to