Carlisle United get their League One season under way with a home clash with Fleetwood Town on Saturday.

So how have their opening-day opponents fared across pre-season?

It’s been an…interesting summer, to say the least…


Fleetwood, in early July, faced the crisis engulfing owner Andy Pilley, as he was jailed for 13 years for his part in a multi-million pound fraud.

Pilley’s sentencing came a month after he stepped down as chairman and director of the League One club.

News and Star: Andy Pilley, now serving a 13-year prison term for fraudAndy Pilley, now serving a 13-year prison term for fraud (Image: PA)

The disgraced businessman bankrolled Fleetwood’s rise from non-league to English football’s third tier.

The Highbury Stadium club were quick to distance themselves from any immediate ramifications of their owner’s jailing.

In a statement they said: “The club would like to reiterate convictions are against individuals and not Fleetwood Town FC, or any of the businesses associated with them, and will continue to operate as normal.

“Fleetwood Town remain in communication with the EFL and will be making no further comment at this time.”

The club, prior to that statement, had said they were in talks with the League regarding a change of ownership and control.

They have been active in the transfer market as normal, both at first-team and development squad level, as they prepare for a new campaign under manager Scott Brown, the Celtic and Scotland legend.

Any long-term consequences of the Pilley situation, though, remain a matter of uncertainty.


Brown has overseen seven pre-season friendlies, all against a good standard of opposition.

They started out with a 3-2 training-ground defeat to Burnley before a trip to Ireland saw a 5-1 win over Waterford and a 2-1 defeat to Dundee.

News and Star: Scott Brown signed a new deal this summerScott Brown signed a new deal this summer (Image: PA)

Back on these shores, a 2-0 behind-closed-doors defeat to Hearts followed, with Fleetwood then holding Championship duo Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End to 0-0 draws at Highbury.

Finally they signed off with a 1-0 home win over Grimsby Town.

Goals in pre-season have been scored by Promise Omochere (two), Jayden Stockley, Ryan Broom, Kyle White, Phoenix Patterson, a Trialist, former Carlisle loanee Jack Marriott and Maleace Asamoah, son of ex-Blues frontman Derek.


One or two notable signings among Fleetwood’s summer recruits.

They picked up experienced attacker Danny Mayor from Plymouth Argyle on a two-year deal.

News and Star: Danny Mayor is among Fleetwood's summer signingsDanny Mayor is among Fleetwood's summer signings (Image: PA)

And ex-Cheltenham Town midfielder Ryan Broom has also joined the Cod Army on similar terms.

At first-team level, Brown has also brought in Irish midfielder Ryan Graydon from Derry City and young full-back Alex Montgomery has joined on a season-long loan from Celtic.

The Fylde Coast club have also been busy bolstering their development squad, with a couple of familiar names among their recruits.

Striker Sam Fishburn, released by Carlisle in the summer, has joined the League One club.

And Maleace Asamoah, son of Blues’ Anfield goalscoring favourite Derek, has been handed his big Football League chance by Fleetwood.

In terms of outgoings, they have seen goalkeeper Alex Cairns depart along with defenders Danny Andrew and Darnell Johnson. Three of last season’s loanees are no longer with Fleetwood: Carlos Mendes Gomes, Corrie Ndaba and Lewis Warrington.

Manager Brown – who himself signed a new two-year deal this summer – has experience in his attack in the likes of Jack Marriott and Jayden Stockley, while further back midfielders such as Josh Vela and Brendan Wiredu have good EFL pedigree, as do defenders like Toto Nsiala and Shaun Rooney.

Then there are emerging players such as Promise Omochere, the Dubliner who scored seven goals after joining from Bohemians last season.

Fleetwood finished 13th in League One last season. They are 50/1 for the title in 2023/24, 12/1 for promotion and 5/4 for relegation (odds: Bet365).