Frankie Goes To Inglewood

Frankie Simek
With Richard Keogh finally leaving the club earlier in the week to sign for Coventry City, United have now moved to fill that vacant defensive spot with the signing of St. Louis-born Simek, the 25-year old American having been released by relegated former Championship side Sheffield Wednesday after the end of last season.

Carlisle become the fourth English club in Simek's career after he initially joined Arsenal's youth development programme at the age of 12 following a family move to this country. Frankie, or Franklin, also combining later in his teenage years playing for Arsenal alongside going back to the United States and featuring for St. Louis University High School and Metro FC, who are now named Metro United.

After progressing through the youth and reserve ranks at Highbury, Simek made his debut for the Gunners in a 5-1 home Carling Cup victory over Wolves in December 2003, that his only ever first-team appearance for Arsenal. While at the club though he did spend two spells out on loan, firstly making five starts for QPR in late 2004 and then playing eight games for Bournemouth at the end of the same 2004-05 season.

Frankie was then released by the Gunners at the end of that campaign, before he signed a three-year deal with Sheffield Wednesday in July 2005. Simek made an excellent start to life at Hillsborough where he made 108 starts, one substitute appearance and scored two goals, in a period where he signed a new three-year deal in late July 2007, until he suffered a serious ankle injury that required an operation in a 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace six months later.

Ten months on the treatment table followed before he made his return as a substitute in a 1-0 home loss against Plymouth in late October 2008. After such a long time out though Frankie struggled to get back into the Owls first eleven and only made 16 starts and 5 substitute appearances in the last two seasons. That no doubt part of the reason that Wednesday boss Alan Irvine released the 25-year old at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.

Internationally Simek has five caps for the United States and also played in a few games for them at youth level, scoring for his national side in November 2002 against Canada. The St. Louis-born defender eventually making his full debut on March 28th 2007 against Guatemala, Frankie also in the same year starting against Trinidad and Tobago and featuring as a substitute against China, El Salvador and Mexico.

It's a different world of opponents for Simek now though with League One trips to Hartlepool and Yeovil as he looks to get his career back on track following a barren two and a half years after such a promising start to his footballing life. With Tony Kane the only other right-back on the Carlisle books however, it looks highly likely that Frankie will get the chance to get plenty of games under his belt at Brunton Park.

First Team Transfers 2010-11 : Click here