Carlisle United have sent young winger Lewis Bell on loan to Gretna FC 2008 – and he’ll face Celtic today.

The 19-year-old has joined the Scottish Lowland League side until January.

And his first game in the half-season move comes against Celtic B at Raydale Park this afternoon.

It is the latest loan for home-grown player Bell as he seeks first-team experience.

After a curtailed spell at Warrington Town last season, he will hope for better fortunes with Stephen Hatfield’s Gretna.

United boss Paul Simpson, whose side recently took on Gretna in a friendly, believes the move will benefit all parties.

“He’s a young man who needs football,” he said of Bell.

“He’s missed out on a lot and I think this will be a good fit for him.

“He’s looking forward to getting some regular football and hopefully he’ll go up there and perform.

“We’ll reassess it all in January when he’s ready to come back.”

Gretna boss Hatfield added: "We are very grateful to Paul Simpson and Gavin Skelton for allowing Lewis to join us.

"Lewis impressed during the friendly we had two weeks ago and has looked very sharp in training since.

"We are looking forward to seeing him in Gretna shirt today and going forward.”

Bell came through United’s academy and was awarded a professional deal midway through his youth scholarship in 2020.

That runs until the end of this season.

The wide man has made six first-team appearances but saw his progress hit by a long Covid-19 lay-off in 2020/21.

He featured in pre-season games for Simpson’s side this summer but now becomes the latest young player loaned out by the Blues, after Max Kilsby’s move to Annan Athletic and Sam Fishburn’s switch to Blyth Spartans.

The latter, meanwhile, this week parted company with manager Terry Mitchell.