Carlisle United have announced the signing of defender Fin Back on a season-long loan from Premier League side Nottingham Forest, according to the club’s official website.
Back is a familiar face at Brunton Park, having played a part in Carlisle’s promotion from League Two last season when on loan with the Cumbrian side. The 20-year-old will now be spending another season under manager Paul Simpson with the Blues making the step up to the third tier.
The right-back made 19 appearances during his loan spell with the Cumbrians last year and would’ve played many more had it not been for a hamstring tear which required surgery. When he was fit however, Back was unplayable and became a rock at the back in a very solid Carlisle defence which kept 20 clean sheets last season.
Back will be looking to stay fit for the entirety of the campaign this time around, where he looks set to be the starter. The Cumbrians also have youngster Jack Ellis at right-back who will act as cover, though will be playing in League One for the first time in his career.
Who is Fin Back?
Back has been in Nottingham Forest’s academy since the age of eight and would sign his first professional deal in 2019 for the Premier League side. Although the majority of his appearances have come for Forest’s under-21s, Back did make three Championship appearances during their 2021/22 promotion season and is highly thought of by manager Steve Cooper. The 20-year-old would start 17 of the Blues’ first 19 League Two games last season, supplying two assists during that spell. A hamstring injury against Salford in November would keep the youngster out until April, where he would manage just thirty minutes against Leyton Orient before going off injured again. With his surgery and rehab now fully complete, Carlisle fans will be hoping that Back can stay fit for the entirety of the season as he is one of the brightest full-backs in English football.
Another familiar face
Back is Paul Simpson’s seventh summer signing, but is the fourth that will be returning to Brunton Park following a loan spell during the 2022/23 campaign. Joining him will be Ben Barclay who spent the entirety of the season on loan from Stockport, as well as Alfie McCalmont and Jack Robinson who both spent the second half of the year on loan from Leeds and Middlesbrough respectively. All three of those players have now signed permanent deals, with Back the only outlier on a season-long loan. That being said, at just 20 years of age he does have the most potential of the four and wouldn’t be allowed by his parent club to make a permanent move.
Paul Simpson is obviously building something big at Carlisle and the fact that players are returning signifies both the trust that the players as well as other managers have in the 56-year-old. Simpson will be hoping to keep the Blues afloat in their first season in League One for nine years, and the signing of Back greatly increases those chances.
As a Carlisle fan, this is a move that I’ve been wanting to happen all summer. Back shone last season when he was fit and looked somewhat out of place in League Two, I’m almost certain that he would not be returning to Brunton Park had it not been for the promotion to League One. Although Carlisle are expected to be near the bottom of the table this season, I am confident with what Simpson is doing and have full faith in him. As for Back, I just hope that he can stay fit as he could become one of the best defenders in League One if he can stay injury-free.