It was one of the first big calls Paul Simpson made.

Jamie Devitt had only been involved from the bench prior to the new manager's arrival, but Simpson handed the experienced midfielder a start in his first game at Leyton Orient.

It was a show of faith in a player whose technical ability and quality could undoubtedly have made a difference in that fixture, even if his match fitness wasn't quite where anyone would have like.

That was a major early decision for Simpson, and an even larger call over Devitt looms.

The 31-year-old was not offered a new contract at the end of the 2021/22 season but has been invited to take part in pre-season training in a bid to extend his stay at Brunton Park.

Simpson's decision to extend that chance to Devitt speaks volumes about the impact he could have - both on and off the field - moving forward.

There is no doubting the latter element. The midfielder's character has been praised by numerous managers and he is a player who truly understands what it means to play for Carlisle United.

We've seen plenty of examples of the opposite in recent seasons, so the importance of having players who 'get' the football club cannot be underestimated.

Indeed, his response to Simpson's offer of returning for pre-season training just highlights his desire to succeed at Brunton Park. A player of Devitt's experience and talent could have found a move to another club somewhere in the pyramid already.

But he wants to return and earn a contract. He wants to play for Carlisle.

You can't have too many players with that sort of attitude in your squad.

The question mark for Simpson will be over how much of an impact Devitt can have on the field moving forward.

It's a difficult question to answer given that the midfielder played only 13 times across the whole of the 2021/22 season - and just seven times after returning to the Blues.

That will be the major question that needs answering over the next few weeks. Simpson won't have a bottomless pot of money to dish out, so decisions on all players must be made carefully and without sentiment.

Yet if Devitt can conclusively show that he can make an impact on the pitch for Carlisle, then it may be among the smarter pieces of business and the club conclude this summer.

For there is little doubting the positive impact he can have behind the scenes as well. And you can never over-value that.