Peter Murphy believes Owen Moxon has the right attributes to handle the step up to Carlisle United.

The Blues signed Cumbrian midfielder Moxon from Murphy’s Annan Athletic this week on a two-year deal.

The 24-year-old returns to the club where he spent several years on the academy books before being released at 16.

After building his career north of the border, including five years under Murphy at Annan in Scottish League Two, the Carlisle-born player now gets his big chance in the EFL.

And Galabank manager Murphy, the United legend, believes Moxon can make the most of his opportunity.

“It’s a step up going to Carlisle United, but we played against Rangers in the Scottish Cup and he was outstanding against one of the top teams in Scotland,” Murphy told the News & Star.

READ MORE: Carlisle United snap up Annan Athletic star Owen Moxon

“I don’t think the step up will be too much for him.

“It’s just about how quickly he steps up into the professional environment and the environment that Paul Simpson creates.

News and Star: Moxon has agreed a two-year deal with Paul Simpson's United (photo: Amy Nixon)Moxon has agreed a two-year deal with Paul Simpson's United (photo: Amy Nixon)

“As a local boy, with the fans all backing him, it can only be good for everybody involved.”

Moxon, after leaving Carlisle, had a spell at Queen of the South where his managers included the current United No2 Gavin Skelton.

He then joined Annan in 2017 after Murphy took the helm at Galabank.

He starred as Annan narrowly missed out on promotion last season, and was named in the division’s team of the season.

Murphy said the former Trinity School boy had attracted interest from elsewhere but that Carlisle was the right choice.

“He came to us as a young boy, desperate to prove himself, and I think he was a bit disappointed that he missed out on the opportunity for full-time football first time around,” Murphy said.

“But he’s had five seasons now with us and has developed into a big, strong athlete, who has learned the games, got a lot of games under his belt and been instrumental in the way we’ve played.

“He’s developed into such a good player with plenty of strengths. One of his weaknesses was sometimes it got too easy for him, and he’d start doing things he wouldn’t normally do.

News and Star: Former Trinity School boy Moxon, who was on United's books as a teenager, has rejoined his home-city club (photo; David Hollins)Former Trinity School boy Moxon, who was on United's books as a teenager, has rejoined his home-city club (photo; David Hollins)

“But if he made a mistake, and he’d be disappointed with himself, he could easily step it up and score a goal.”

Simpson has watched Moxon in action while United head of recruitment Greg Abbott and assistant manager Skelton made a final check on the player in Annan’s play-off final second leg against Edinburgh City at Galabank earlier this month.

“He had interest from other clubs but the advice I was giving him was Carlisle United,” Murphy said.

“Moxy can do anything. Depending what the manager wants him to do, he can do it.

WATCH: New Carlisle United signing Owen Moxon in goalscoring action for Annan Athletic

“I remember when Brad Potts was younger and got a move from Carlisle, and I would say Moxy’s ahead of where he was. He can do whatever he’s asked to do.

“And with the experience he’s got from playing men’s football, I think he can be a good addition.

“It just depends on the way he’s handled and how the team’s doing.”

News and Star: Moxon spent five years at Annan under Murphy (photo: Stuart Walker)Moxon spent five years at Annan under Murphy (photo: Stuart Walker)

Murphy also says Moxon will be eager to attack his opportunity at Brunton Park having worked his way back to the professional game.

“He’ll now have a lot of life experience,” the Annan boss added. “There have been players who’ve come to Carlisle from bigger clubs and expected everything handed to them.

“Moxy is different in that he’s been out and learned his trade. He was trying to qualify as a mechanic at one point, he’s been a delivery driver recently, and he appreciates the opportunity he’s been given now – an opportunity that he’s worked hard for and deserves.

“He’s a very down-to-earth lad, very honest. I’m really excited Owen’s been given a chance at Carlisle.

“The fans will see that he’ll give you everything and it will mean a lot more to him than just a loan player coming in.

“And, for any player who hasn’t made it in their first attempt to make it as a professional footballer, it proves that the dream isn’t dead if they keep their dedication, focus, and a will to learn.

“That’s what Moxy’s been very good at, and he still wants to learn and improve.”

Murphy also says Moxon’s progress highlights the value of developing at a club like the Galabankies.

“It’s kudos for Annan Athletic,” Murphy added. “When Moxy first came he didn’t play every game, he was still learning and developing.

“But I think the long stint he’s had with us has helped him develop in stature, confidence and in his physical attributes and learning the game.

“It’s a selling point now for me at Annan in trying to attract players and keep players, to say that it may not be your first season that’s the be-all and end-all, but if you come in and are dedicated and work hard, you can develop over the course of a number of seasons with us, and who knows where that can take you?”