This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Comment’ series, this content strand is where the author of the article issues their personal opinion on the topic at hand….
Out of the darkness of Carlisle United’s particularly average start to the campaign, has come a shining light of promising young talent who have led them to their four league wins this season. Carlisle currently sit in 18th position following their widely expected defeat at the hands of Newport County over the weekend, however, only 3 points separates them and tenth in the League.
Should Carlisle begin to climb the table then it will most likely be down to the young players involved in their squad. Despite Carlisle’s frailties they do possess an exciting and youthful attack with several different options should Steven Pressley elect to use them. The likes of Harry McKirdy, Olufela Olomola, Jack Bridge, Jack Iredale and Mohammed Sagaf are all players aged 24 or under who have featured regularly for the Blues this campaign and have shown great promise.
Olomola and McKirdy combined have scored just shy of two thirds of Carlisle’s goals thus far showing how vital they are to any success Carlisle have had or will have this season. Mckirdy has bagged three and assisted four playing as part of the Cumbrians’ front three, enjoying an impressive spell in his first eleven appearances following his move from Aston Villa. Scunthorpe loanee Olomola has also greatly impressed, being his side’s primary source of goals, finding the back of the net with his aerial ability or finishing with either foot on 5 occasions. In reserve they also have Newcastle United loanee Elias Sorenson, who is yet to make an impact at the club, albeit mainly coming off the bench.
Elsewhere on the pitch, Mohammed Sagaf has shown the fans what he is capable of with some solid performances all across the pitch when called upon, grabbing a goal and an assist from the bench as well as creating other chances for teammates with 1.6 key passes/per90 – as per whoscored.com. Furthermore, Jack Bridge has cemented his place in midfield, with 1.7 key passes/per90 (the squad high), an 88% dribble success rate and a tackle success rate of 79%. Elsewhere, Jack Iredale has found a starting spot at left back where the Australian 23-year-old has been consistently solid. In reserve they also have summer addition former young player of the year in the National League: Jon Mellish.
Although Carlisle have not had the best of starts, their young players have impressed and carried the team to their four league victories and there is no reason why they won’t continue to perform in that way, in which case the results will come with time. With fourth placed Crewe Alexandra next up for Pressley’s men, they will be hoping to cause an upset and generate some momentum as the season progresses and climb up the League Two table.