New academy manager Steven Rudd has shown a clear understanding on the “change of culture” needed in Carlisle United’s youth set-up.

That’s according to first-team boss Paul Simpson, who has welcomed the appointment of Rudd to oversee the club’s youth development.

Rudd is replacing Simon Friel as academy manager, the coach and former teacher assuming the role on a part-time basis until Friel’s summer departure, at which point he will occupy the post full-time.

It follows a recruitment process in which Simpson was involved before the final stages involving Carlisle’s owners, the Piatak family.

Rudd, who has coached in United’s Category Three academy for a number of years as well as previous roles as Workington Reds assistant manager and as PE teacher at Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton, came out on top of the candidates in the running.

Asked why Rudd had been the top choice, Simpson said: “He showed he had a real clear understanding of what's required to try and change the academy round and improve it.

“[He showed] the real desire to want to come and make it a success.

“He’s got a good management background and from education. He's got a good leadership mentality about him. And he's also a very good coach.

“So I just think he’s a fantastic appointment from the six people who we interviewed, which were sifted down from a really strong group of people who applied.

News and Star: Rudd, right, was previously assistant manager to Danny Grainger at Workington, as well as coaching in United's academy for several yearsRudd, right, was previously assistant manager to Danny Grainger at Workington, as well as coaching in United's academy for several years (Image: Ben Challis)

“He stood out at the first stage. And then they went to the second stage where the owners got involved. And we all agreed that he was a really good appointment.”

Simpson has long called for an overhaul in United’s academy, claiming last November that it needed a “shake-up” because it wasn’t producing the goods.

Carlisle’s manager says aspects of the youth set-up is “not well respected” in some areas and so a fundamental change is needed.

Asked about the key issues and challenges facing Rudd, Simpson added: “I think, just like in first team football, recruitment is massive in the academy.

“We've got a really good catchment area. So, hopefully, the recruitment can be stepped up.

“But for me, I want to see a change in the culture of the academy. That's the biggest thing I need to see.

“And to get that you need everybody involved. You need all of the phase lead [coaches], you need all of the players, all of the parents, the coaches… everybody has to come together to change the culture.

“Because from the things that hear from people, it's not particularly well respected because of things that have gone on over recent years.

“So for me, that's the biggest thing. I don’t know how you put that down as a key performance indicator. But that has got to be the biggest change in recruitment and the culture in the academy.”