Carlisle United have signed former Everton and Fleetwood defender Gethin Jones.

The 23-year-old free agent has been training with the Blues this week and has now been handed a deal until January.

Jones, a Wales Under-21 international, is a right-sided defender.

He is likely to feature for United at Stevenage this weekend.

Jones recently agreed to terminate his contract at Fleetwood before the transfer deadline so that he could find another club.

United boss Steven Pressley has been allowed to bring the defender in despite recently claiming he had already spent his available player budget and would not be signing any free agents.

That suggests the club have made further funds available in order to help Pressley plug the second-leakiest defence in League Two.

United's boss today said the club "have managed to help" him add extra experience to his squad.

The arrival of Jones, who had a loan spell with Mansfield last season, comes as other defenders in the United squad struggle to make their case for a call-up.


Ex-Wolves man Aaron Hayden, who joined after a trial in the summer, was signed to provide cover in the centre and right of United’s defence but has not featured in the matchday squad recently.

Jones is likely to rival another of Pressley’s summer signings, Christie Elliott, for a place on the right of Carlisle’s rearguard.

United's manager said Jones' arrival was useful at a time other young defenders in his squad need time to develop.

Pressley said: "His best position is full-back, but he can fill a number of positions. He’s strong, athletic and he has good pace.

"He’s a good character, and I think at this moment in time, until several of our younger players reach the standards we hope they will, he’ll give us additional support until at least January, and possibly beyond.

“We’re a squad which is quite thin on the ground and we are reliant on our younger players. I think it’s evident that they need a little bit longer to develop, and Gethin fits the profile we’re looking for.

“I’m very comfortable with the current group but I just felt at this moment in time we needed that extra bit of experience and the club have managed to help me with that."

The Australia-born player has not featured for Fleetwood in the early stages of the season other than in development squad games.

His last first-team appearance came for Mansfield in their League Two play-off semi-final against Newport in May.

He made 17 appearances for the Stags, having played 19 times for Fleetwood since his January 2018 move from Everton.

While on the Toffees’ books – he joined Everton from Wrexham at 12 – Jones was loaned to Plymouth and Barnsley.

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton recently urged Jones to prove him wrong after agreeing to release the defender.

He said: “He is a great lad but just does not fit with the way I see the game being played.

“I think he is a good player. Clearly at Mansfield he got a run of games.

“We thought there would be clubs willing to take him – that has not transpired.

“He is a young player who needs to play and we have to do the right thing by him.

“We have to give him the opportunity to go out and get a contract somewhere and show me that I was wrong to let him go, and to get his career back on track.”

The deal is subject to the clearance of paperwork