Paul Simpson says he intends to have a third goalkeeper in his Carlisle United squad next season.

The Blues last week secured the future of the promising Gabe Breeze on a new three-year deal.

He is currently understudy to January signing Harry Lewis.

But Simpson says he will look to give Breeze first-team experience with a loan move next season if he remains second choice.

And a third gloveman will be on his close-season shopping list, should this prove Tomas Holy's last campaign with the Blues.

“I think you have to have three goalkeepers,” said Simpson. “I think you're struggling if you've only got two.

“So the pleasing thing is that throughout this season, because of the issues that we’ve had with goalkeeping at the start of the season – or the first half of the season – Gabe has shown that he's more than capable of doing a job.

“So that's been a real boost for us. But it is still very early in his development, particularly as a goalkeeper.

“If we're talking about a 19 or 20-year-old-kid who's an outfield player, you'd expect them to be playing in the team.

“But with goalkeepers it is a little bit different. He needs to rack up some games. And if it's not in our first team, then then we'll have to look at getting him out to get and developed.”

Breeze made four first-team appearances over the winter after coming in for previous No1 Tomas Holy.

News and Star: Breeze impressed in four composed first-team appearances during the winterBreeze impressed in four composed first-team appearances during the winter (Image: Richard Parkes)

United then brought in Bradford City’s Lewis, while weeks of negotiations came to a head last week when Breeze, from Penrith, committed his future to the club.

“He deserves it,” said Simpson of the 20-year-old Cumbrian’s new terms.

“I think he's got real promise about him, and a fantastic attitude.

“He’s come through our own academy, which is always a positive. And hopefully he continues to work as hard as he is, keeps showing the personality that he does, and hopefully he will prove to be a good goalkeeper long term for the club.”

“If we are in a position where Gabe can go out on loan, if he's not our first choice next season, then that's what we'll look to do,” added Simpson.

“Because yes, part of his development is playing more games. We don't have a holding area of games for him to be playing here, because of the way that it's set up – hopefully, in the long run, that will that will improve anyway.

“But if he's not playing in our first team, and he needs games, and somebody wants to take him at a good level, that's something that we're looking at as part of his development.”