Former Blyth Spartans defender Nathan Buddle is looking forward to his new challenge after signing for Carlisle United.
Buddle – the first player in 22 years to leave Spartans to sign professional terms at a Football League club – has thanked everyone at the club for their part in his development.
The 21-year-old centre back put pen to paper at SkyBet League Two club Carlisle United on Monday.
Buddle admitted that he leaves with a lot of fond memories from his time at Croft Park and was wholesome in his praise of many key figures at the club.
He said: “I want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Spartans.
“From the day I signed I have enjoyed every minute at a fantastic club and I have to thank Tom Wade, Colin Myers, John Bottensien and Bev Doherty, and everybody behind the scenes from the media team to the kitman and groundsman.
“It was always my ambition to get back into the pro game and honestly I couldn’t have been at a better club to do it.”
Buddle is now hoping the Spartans can achieve the pre-season target of a play-off place in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.
“I have to wish the lads all of the very best for the rest of the season,” he said. “They are a brilliant group of players and I hope to see them where they belong in the play-offs at the end of the season.
“I will be supporting them as much as I can and have to thank them for everything.”
During his 18-months at Blyth, the Amble-born defender played 83 times, scoring five goals. He was part of the squad that finished runners up in the Northumberland Senior Cup and captained an England ‘C’ representative side, although he has one special memory.
“One thing I will never forget from my time at Blyth is the FA Cup run,” he said. “From the qualifying rounds when I had to sit and bite my nails watching the game at Leek Town, to beating Altrincham and the club I left to join Spartans, Hartlepool United. And obviously even though we didn’t win, the Birmingham City game was massive.”
Buddle is now looking forward to developing as a player under Cumbrians manager Keith Curle, the former Manchester City defender who earned three England caps.
He said: “The FA Cup run we had has earned me the opportunity to play for Carlisle and I couldn’t be any more grateful for that.
“Now I look forward to the next chapter in my career and learning from a manager that has played in my position in the Premier League and for England.
“I hope that I can develop as a player and work my way into the team by taking all of his advice on board.”