Ex-Blues: The 10 former Carlisle United players currently available on a free transfer

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The 10 ex-Carlisle United players currently available on a free transfer (Pictures: Barbara Abbott / Richard Parkes)
The 10 ex-Carlisle United players currently available on a free transfer (Pictures: Barbara Abbott / Richard Parkes)

With transfer season now in full swing, the free agent market is beginning to swell in numbers.

Paul Simpson has already hinted that he and new head of recruitment Greg Abbott will be looking down that particular avenue when it comes to securing new signings, with a large number of players having already been told their current terms won't be renewed.

And among the host of individuals currently looking for new clubs are a number of ex-Carlisle United favourites - and a few flops, too.

Here's a look at the ten former Blues available for nothing. Are there any you would take back at Brunton Park?

Ethan Walker

The Preston North End forward saw his loan spell at Carlisle disrupted through injury, but showed some glimpses of his quality.

News and Star: Ethan Walker
News and Star: Ethan Walker

Ethan Walker

Walker has more recently spent time on loan with AFC Fylde in the National League North and has now been told he won't be offered fresh terms at Deepdale.

Keiren Westwood

A popular figure during his time in Cumbria - during which the Blues climbed to the brink of the second tier - Westwood has recently left Championship side QPR.

There were some brief rumours of a return to Carlisle for the goalkeeper, but Simpson quashed those quickly.

READ MORE: Carlisle chief explains why debt repayments are currently 'unrealistic'

“What I would say is I’ve got massive amount of respect for Keiren Westwood in what he’s done in his career," he said, when quizzed on the speculation.

“But if I was going to be thinking of Keiren Westwood, I’d have kept Mark Howard. Simple as that, really.”

James Chester

Signed by Abbott during his time as manager, Chester was impressive during his half-season loan spell in the 2010/11 season.

He's gone on to enjoy a strong career in the Premier League and Championship, but has recently been released by Stoke City.

READ MORE: Released Carlisle defender speaks out after joining new club

He'll no doubt be in high demand this summer.

Rhys Bennett

It's been a tumultuous season for Bennett, who has played for two clubs since turning down a fresh contract at Brunton Park last year.

News and Star: Rhys Bennett
News and Star: Rhys Bennett

Rhys Bennett

After an initial move to Gillingham didn't work out as planned, the centre back subsequently joined Morecambe - but was released by the League One side after just half a season.

Mike Jones

The 34-year-old swapped Brunton Park for Barrow in 2020, helping to establish the Holker Street side back in the EFL.

READ MORE: Paul Simpson hoping for more new signings soon 

But the experienced midfielder is now searching for a new side having been told he won't be offered a new contract.

Mark Beck

Having progressed through Carlisle's under-18 squad to earn a professional deal, Beck made over 70 senior appearances for the Blues before departing.

The striker has spent the last five seasons at Harrogate Town, albeit most of the 2021/22 campaign was spent on loan with York City.

News and Star: Mark Beck
News and Star: Mark Beck

Mark Beck

Beck netted six times for the National League North outfit, but has now been released by his parent club.

Olufela Olomola

Signed by Steven Pressley, Olomola wasn't quite the talisman that Carlisle had hoped for.

He signed for Hartlepool United last summer but struggled for regular action and subsequently joined Yeovil Town on loan.

READ MORE: Ex-Carlisle duo extend spells with Workington Reds

Now the frontman will be searching for a new permanent club.

Martin Smith

One of Carlisle's more forgettable loan signings, Smith made just two appearances at Brunton Park during a loan switch from Sunderland in the 2015/16 season.

He won't be handed new terms at Hartlepool this summer, having only moved to Victoria Park last summer.

Nathaniel Knight-Percival

The experienced defender is now searching for his fourth club in fourth seasons after leaving Tranmere Rovers.

Knight-Percival had previously spent the 2019/20 campaign at Carlisle before joining Morecambe for a single season.

Connor Malley

Another loanee who failed to make a real mark in Cumbria, the midfielder has recently been released by Championship side Middlesbrough.

Malley spent much of the most recent season with Gateshead, where he played alongside current Blue Taylor Charters.

READ MORE: Iconic Brunton Pasty could be on its way back!

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