Things can only get better for Cumbrians

Saturday 6th April 2013 12:55

Brad Potts: One of the young stars coming through at Carlisle

Brad Potts: One of the young stars coming through at Carlisle

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Carlisle FanZoner Ryan Waugh believes there are positive signs for the future despite a testing campaign for the Cumbrians this time around.

As we enter the final month of a season that has certainly seen plenty of highs and lows, optimism is something we should all try to cherish.

The 2012-2013 campaign will not be one to be remembered fondly, but positive signs are prevalent that the future holds signs of prosperity.

Look no further than the exciting young talent that has really taken to the fore in our League One campaign. This season has seen the likes of Brad Potts, David Symington, Mark Gillespie and Mark Beck come into their own, after all, this is not a forgiving league.

Potts, 19, came through the youth ranks like his other three colleagues and has bedded into the first team with relative ease and his accomplished performances have certainly raised eyebrows with the Cumbrian faithful.

Earlier in the season young Potts earned the right to be called up to the England Under-19 squad for a fixture with Finland and it would be prudent not to bet against him making more appearances for his country in the years ahead.

Meanwhile, Beck, 19, has also started to stake a claim for a regular starting berth in the first team and has already found the net six times this term.

The tall striker has already shown he can muster some solid performances in League One and with goals in his armoury, he could also be one to keep an eye on for the considerable future.

Other notables include the emerging Josh Todd and Symington, who has already cemented himself into the starting XI with some excellent performances and also possess a blistering right foot which has seen him score one of the goals of the season from some 35 yards.

The most interesting talking point regarding the younger generation to have recently swarmed the first team is surely the goalkeeper position.

Gillespie, 21, has battled with Adam Collin for the number one jersey all season and seems to have won the fight.

Manager Greg Abbott has favoured the former YTS man over the older head and even though his glove work still requires plenty of improvement, the signs are there that a quality young goalkeeper is emerging.

However, although the younger generation provide hope in a poor season for the Blues, some of the older, more established players have failed to light the fire and must surely be shipped out come the final game of the season.

With a rearguard that has leaked in a staggering 70 league goals to date, this is seven more than a Portsmouth team that was only created a week before the league campaign began.

Serious questions have to be asked about how our experienced backline have conceded so many goals.

The answer is quite simply that our defence is far too slow. The likes of Frank Simek, Danny Livesey, Peter Murphy and Mike Edwards lack genuine pace and this is something that needs to be addressed over the close season.

The gaffer always says in nearly every post-match press conference that his team is an honest bunch and has plenty of battling qualities.

However, even though Abbott was this type of player in his heyday for Bradford City and Hull City and has since moulded a team around his own qualities, these pre-requisite assets do not make a good team - real skill, natural ability and technical attributes are also paramount.

I feel the summer could be a time to reflect on not just what we have, but what we also require, if we are to be serious promotion contenders come the beginning of season 2013-2014.

By Ryan Waugh, FanZone's Carlisle blogger.

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