Carlisle United have announced defender Paul Huntington as the club’s new captain, according to their official website.
Huntington was ever-present in the defence which greatly contributed to Carlisle’s success last season. The Blues would keep 20 clean sheets in League Two last season, a number that only Champions Leyton Orient would better.
Carlisle have so far managed to hold on to the majority of their defensive cohort from last season, however there is one significant omission, that being Morgan Feeney. The centre-half was Carlisle’s club captain last season and although injured in the latter half of the season, significantly contributed to the Cumbrians’ promotion push. Feeney decided to not sign a new contract at Brunton Park this summer and would depart to fellow League One side Shrewsbury.
Why should Huntington be captain?
With the captain’s armband vacant, it seemed as if there was only one option to take the role, that being the vastly experienced Paul Huntington. The 35-year-old has 216 League One appearances and 168 Championship appearances to his name and is the most experienced head in the Brunton Park dressing room. That experience was worth its weight in gold last season, with Huntington’s arrival, turning around one of the worst defensive records in League Two, to one of the best.
A natural leader, the center-half would fill in as captain whilst Feeney was sidelined for the play-offs, and would play every minute in every game of the Blues successful play-off run. With the Cumbrian side being his boyhood club, leading Carlisle to promotion to League One will be one of if not his proudest moment in his career. The 35-year-old will be looking to make more history as he leads Carlisle in their first season in the third tier in nine years.
What’s been said?
Speaking on his decision to make Huntington club captain, manager Paul Simpson said:
“I don’t think it’s any surprise that Hunts will be our captain. He took it on at times last season and did well with it.”
“I don’t know if I’ve said this before but I don’t really care who wears the armband. I want a team of leaders and when I look at the group we’ve got I think we’ve got that.”
“Hunts has that aura, of course he does, and he’s done it many times before. He did it for us last season. It’s funny, I was thinking about this, thinking do I need to make a big announcement, and I thought no.
“Although on the outside it’s probably a big thing, it’s not a big thing in my mind. I just crack on with it and hope everybody has a part to play.”
Although he may be somewhat playing it down, Paul Simpson know just how important Paul Huntington is to Carlisle’s chances of survival this season. Although his best days are behind him, the defender had a stellar season last year and with his prior experience in the league, will be a huge asset to the club this year. A leader at the back is something that all clubs want, and Carlisle certainly have that. I expect Huntington to yet again play a pivotal part in Carlisle’s back line this season and his experience will be a great benefit to the rest of the squad.