Hope stays

Carlisle United are delighted to confirm that a club option has been triggered which keeps striker Hallam Hope at Brunton Park until the end of the 2019/20 season.

The trigger clause, to be announced at the Friday night Fans’ Forum by manager Steven Pressley, means Hope joins midfielder Kelvin Etuhu as the second player to have activated an extension this season.

Hope, 25 in the middle of this month, has scored 11 goals in his 32 appearances for the club this term having played as a wide striker and a centre forward through an action-packed campaign.

He has made a total of 107 appearances for the Blues in his two spells with the club, with 29 goals to his name in total, and has become a regular in the side having started the last 21 games in all competitions.

Manager Steven Pressley said: “Hallam has had a very good season so far and he’s very well suited to the role he’s employed in.

“He’s made a big impression on me in the short time I’ve been here. He’s very professional and a very good character, and he’s the type of player who we want to be part of the future at this club.

“He likes to score goals and we think he’s got more of that in him. He’s a player who is at a great age and all I can see is improvement, because he works extremely hard in training. That transfers itself into games, as we’ve all seen, because he never hides away and he gives everything for his team mates.

“I’m delighted that this is done because he’s the type of player I want to work with.”

Speaking about his extended stay at the club, Hope said: “I’m delighted the club have triggered my one year option and, with this being done now, it means I can concentrate on my football with 11 massive games to go!

"We’re all working hard to make it a successful outcome come May. The fans have been superb with me over the past few years and I want to be part of a successful team so that I can thank them for the support they’ve given me."

The nippy front man joined United for a second time on a two-year deal in the summer of 2017.

He had already spent time with the Blues when he initially moved to Cumbria on a one-month loan deal at the end of October 2015.

He bagged the goal which sealed the win in the FA Cup first round away victory against Plymouth during that spell, and he subsequently extended his stay until the end of that campaign having recovered from a troublesome ankle injury. 

That half-season with the club netted him five goals in 25 appearances.

Hope started his career when he moved to Everton from Manchester City as a youngster and had loan spells with Northampton, Sheffield Wednesday and Bury (twice) whilst still with the Toffees.

His move to Bury became permanent when he signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Shakers in January 2015. He represented England at the U16, U17, U18 and U19 levels.

Director of football David Holdsworth said: “We think this is great news for the club, not just for this season, in terms of giving a player stability, but also for what will be another important season to come.

“Hallam is an excellent young man who wants to be the best he can be. He wants to learn and improve, and I know he enjoys being at Carlisle United. This is a good fit and we’re pleased that a player with his qualities will be staying with us.”