For my first online interview, I interviewed Carlisle United’s Jason Kennedy. Charlie Wyke left in January to join Bradford City but he left an impressive mark at Brunton Park.
1. Growing up, who or what was your footballing idol and the inspiration behind you becoming a footballer?
Probably have to go with the Boro legend, Juninho. I had a signed match worn Juninho top and I used to wear it everywhere I went.
2. After coming through the youth academy, how tough was it constantly being sent out on loan with two spells at Hartlepool United on top of stints at Kettering Town and AFC Wimbledon?
It was hard going out on loan at a young age because you have such a short time to gel with the team especially due to the loan lengths I had as they were 6 months or shorter. With Wimbledon, I found it especially hard being away from home for a few month at a time.
3. After moving to Carlisle, you seemed to settle very quickly and gone on to net 17 goals in 49 appearances. How surprised were you at how quickly you settled at Brunton Park?
I’m not really surprised that I settled in so well at Carlisle as the players, staff and fans have been fantastic with me since the day I signed for the club.
4. You have been quite a prolific goal scorer for Carlisle so which of those goals is your favourite?
My favourite and most important goal up to now has got to be the Tranmere goal. The 1st season in which I signed, it was a massive game because both teams were fighting to stay in the league and it was my 3rd or 4th game I think so I was still settling in. I scored 2 that game but the 1st one was the better and the most enjoyable and we went above Tranmere in the table.
5. Why do you think that Aitor Karanka didn’t see you as part of the future at Middlesbrough?
To be honest I didn’t expect to play when Aitor Karanka came in because I wasn’t involved with previous managers, he also brought some very good players to the club. I knew I was at the age where I had to leave Middlesbrough to make a career and looking back its the best decision that I’ve made.
6. What are your hopes and ambitions for the future after proving yourself to be a strong goal scorer?
My hopes and ambitions for the future are to play regularly at the highest level that I can and for this season, its obviously to be promoted with Carlisle!
1. As a child, who or what motivated you to become the player that you are today?
As a child I motivated myself to be the player I am today because all I wanted to do was play football. There was also help from my parents, family and coaches along the way too.
2. When you rose through Middlesbrough’s Youth Academy, how special was it to land a professional contract?
To gain a professional contract at Middlesbrough was a dream come true for me. They were the local team that I supported and therefore it was like all my hard work throughout the years had paid off.
3. After making substitute appearances in the 2005-06 season, how surprised were you to find yourself constantly out on loan till you signed a permanent deal with Darlington?
I wasn’t surprised at all because Middlesbrough had a very strong team with internationals and experienced premier league players meaning that to go out on loan was a opportunity for games and be more involved. It was the best thing that I did to gain experience and take me out of my comfort zone.
4. You then left the Quakers a year later to join Rochdale. Were you surprised at spending 4 years at Spotland after constantly moving clubs on loan?
Nope definitely not. The 4 years at Spotland were some of my greatest memories that I have in football and it became home to me. The manager, staff, players and fans were in a different class to previous clubs. I loved my time there.
5. What made you reject a new contract from Rochdale and join Bradford City only to return on loan during the January transfer window?
The opportunity to play at a higher a level was the one and only reason and Bradford was also a big club aiming for the championship. I didn’t get as much game time as I hoped for at Bradford so Phil Parkinson said I can go out on loan till end of season. When Rochdale came in for me, it was a easy decision to go back and to get promoted for the 2nd time with them topped it all off.
6. When your stint at Valley Parade ended, what attracted you to Carlisle after spending a month on loan near the end of the 2014-15 season?
One of the main attractions that brought me to Carlisle was the manager due to how much he wanted me and had me enjoying my football along with his ambitions in where he wants to take the club. After my loan spell, I knew that I was always going to sign for Carlisle.
7. Finally, what are your hopes and ambitions for the future?
My main ambition is to help get Carlisle promoted this season and the future will take care of its self.