Chris Beech, Welcome to Cumbria.
Chris Beech? Who’s that? Was my first thought when I saw he was the man chosen as our new “Head Coach” replacing nice guy but awful manager Steven Pressley. Beech was the former number 2 at Rochdale, and was caretaker back in 2012. Rochdale fans were in the replies to the tweet saying that he was great. I initially dismissed this as sarcasm, and that he was awful, similarly to how us Carlisle fans are trying to convince any interested parties that Jarrad Branthwaite is, in fact, awful, and Byron Webster is the man you really want.Apparently he’s actually decent, though. “Single-handedly transformed our academy” was amongst rhetoric used that excited me. I do love a good youth player coming through our ranks, to this day I miss Kyle Dempsey wholeheartedly. The likes of Callum Camps, Connor Ronan and wonderkid Luke Matheson (the one who scored against Man United in the cup then went to study for his A levels the next day) Have all come through the academy under Beech’s influence, so I’d be hoping to see more of where they came from.
Beech’s first game at the helm of the club was a thoroughly “meh” 2–2 draw away at Forest Green Rovers in the FA Cup Second Round, with loanee Nathan Thomas scoring a brace (if you really want to win hearts, get him on a permanent deal) to offset a goalkeeping error by captain Adam Collin, and an own goal by Welshman Gethin Jones.
Should United be victorious in Tuesday’s replay back at Brunton Park, which will serve as Beech’s first home match, a trip down to South Wales to face former Premier League side Cardiff City will await the blues.
So it is a new era under Chris Beech, and with his credentials of focussing on youth talent, especially given a certain defender who’s broken into the first team, I for one welcome our new Blackpudlian overlord.