Now with recommended pubs and parking for travelling Valiants – here are the views of three Carlisle fans ahead of the game…
Thanks to REP for posing the questions…
About the fans…
LEE ROONEY I was nine when I went to my first game with my Dad in 1994. Since then, I’ve run an unofficial CUFC website, worked for the club for two years as Media Assistant and now do a bit of freelance reporting and also help moderate TheCumbrians.net forum. Oh and I also edit the London Branch fanzine “Hit The Bar”.
SIMON CLARKSON I was the Chairman of the London Supporters Branch for ten years before moving back to Carlisle last year. I have followed Carlisle United avidly since moving to Carlisle in 1985.
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN I’ve supported Carlisle United “man and boy”. I’m a West Cumbrian by upbringing, but I am now living in Essex near Southend. I am a member of the Carlisle United Supporters Club London Branch (CUSCLB) and regularly join our band of brothers and sisters on the journeys to away grounds.
About the opposition…
How do you expect your team to do in the cup this season?
It won’t be a major priority this year as we’ve built a squad with one intent – to get promoted…
LEE ROONEY We were very fortunate to have two great runs in the main cups last season resulting in games against the two Merseyside clubs – Liverpool away, Everton home – and were very close to beating Liverpool at Anfield The December floods had a bit of a detrimental affect on our league form and while I’m sure the club would love another good run, I suspect it won’t be a major priority this year as we’ve built a squad with one intent – to get promoted.
SIMON CLARKSON Under Keith Curle we are progressing nicely and the league will be our main priority. Cup income is a big help as we demonstrated last season by taking Liverpool to penalties at Anfield in the third round. The same again would do nicely.
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN Probably a couple of wins and progress but then we’ll drop off in preference to concentrating on a promotion push.
Who should we watch out for?
LEE ROONEY Last year’s top scorer Jabo Ibehre looks likely to be injured so we can rule him out. In defence Danny Grainger’s ability on the ball is excellent. In midfield Nicky Adams has quality on the ball.
SIMON CLARKSON Of our new signings Nicky Adams probably stands out the most. Reggie Lambe is a real handful on his day too.
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN Reggie Lamb upfront, Danny Grainger in defence and there’s Jason Kennedy midfield.
What’s your favourite cup moment?
We absolutely drowned the town on a Tuesday night with away supporters and played them off the pitch…
LEE ROONEY Taking away the JPT before it became the abomination that it now is, because we’ve had countless great moments in that competition and I’d have to go for the game at Anfield against Liverpool in the League Cup last season. Before the game, I was expecting us to get hammered but we rarely looked in trouble thanks to a rare excellent defensive performance (of all the times to pull that off!). We got so close in the penalty shoot-out but it wasn’t to be. Asamoah’s goal against Liverpool wasn’t the greatest strike but for the sheer euphoria in the away end, it’s out on its own.
SIMON CLARKSON We have the best record of any team in the Football League Trophy and Peter Murphy’s winner at Wembley stands out together with the Derek Asamoah strike at the Kop at Anfield last season.
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN Winning the semi final against Stockport County away in the Auto Windscreen Trophy – we absolutely drowned the town on a Tuesday night with away supporters and played them off the pitch winning 3-1… fantastic!
A score prediction?
LEE ROONEY I did have a feeling we wouldn’t do too well in this game but looking a your squad list (and speaking to a Bradford fan I know who wasn’t too complimentary after your game there), I’m a bit more confident than I was. I suspect your squad may take a lot longer to settle than ours will, so you may not be too fussed on this game. Carlisle 3 (Wyke, T. Miller, Adams) Port Vale 1 (Thomas). Attendance – 3,472 (boosted by reduced price tickets for our season ticket holders).
SIMON CLARKSON I fancy a high scoring game and a Carlisle win 3-2. Both teams will rotate their squads so I won’t guess scorers. A wild stab at the crowd size would be 2,500.
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN Jabo Ibhere with two goals and 2-0 to Carlisle.
About the Vale…
Who do you most fear as the danger players from the Vale squad?
You’ve signed lots of foreign players, none of which I know anything of. Can they perform at Carlisle on a Tuesday night?
LEE ROONEY It’s hard to judge as I don’t tend to see much League One football these days. A quick scan down your squad suggests you’ve brought a lot of foreign lads in this season, which isn’t always a great thing – Notts County did a similar thing last summer and really struggled. Of the ones I know, Anthony Grant has always been a good solid performer but Jerome Thomas is the obvious threat, having played in the Premier League not so long ago.
SIMON CLARKSON Having done some research it looks as if you’ve signed lots of foreign players, none of which I know anything of. Can they perform at Carlisle on a Tuesday night?
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN Michael Brown and Anton Forrester.
Do you have any memories of previous clashes between your team and the Vale?
LEE ROONEY Our record against you in the last few years has been poor but looking back to when we got promoted back to League One in 2006, the following two seasons games at Brunton Park were great, coming back from 2-0 down both times to beat you 3-2! The second time stands out more, as we were absolutely flying in L1 that season and really should have won promotion instead of bottling it in the final few games.
SIMON CLARKSON A Joe Garner 40 yard screamer a few years back at your place was very special.
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN Somewhat surprisingly I’ve never watched a Carlisle vs Port Vale game and I’ve never visited Vale Park?
A guide for Vale fans…
Can you tell us something about Carlisle Utd we may not know?
LEE ROONEY We hold the record for the youngest ever Football League manager. Ivor Broads took charge as player-manager at the age of just 23 in 1946.
SIMON CLARKSON We are the smallest club by population size to have played in the top league and in that one season 1974-75 we sat on top of the league after three games. Brunton Park has the largest standing capacity in the Football League.
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN We played in the Anglo-Italian Cup in the early 1970’s against the likes of AS Roma, Sampdoria, Atalanta and Cagliari.
Can you recommend a forum or blog?
LEE ROONEY There are two Carlisle United forums – as you will know from my earlier answer, I have a conflict of interest here as I am one of the moderators of the most popular one, TheCumbrians.net. Away fans are welcome if they behave well and we’ll aim to activate your account ASAP.
SIMON CLARKSON It’s got to be TheCumbrians.net
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN CarlisleLondonBranch.org
Any recommendations for away-friendly pubs, eateries and the best places to park?
LEE ROONEY As others have mentioned, sadly the Rugby Club still hasn’t recovered since the floods. The Beehive is nearest to the ground and for most games they let in away fans. Alternatively, coming off the M6 at Jct 43, head down Warwick Road and you can either go to the Lakeland Gate Premier Inn on the left-hand side or turn up Victoria Road just before that for the Magpie Inn, which is recently refurbished and stocks plenty of good real ale.
SIMON CLARKSON The impact of the December floods is still being felt by some pubs not yet back on the feet, in particular the away-friendly rugby club next door which is still closed. The Bee Hive is usually OK with away fans and you’ll be able to get a drink in the ground. Best parking at the ground as around the ground is resident parking.
JONATHAN MCLOUGHLIN The Kings Head pub in city centre, Carlisle or The Sportsman in the city centre.