Hartlepool United have swooped to sign Tony Caig as the club’s new goalkeeping coach from rivals Carlisle United – and he can’t wait to get started.
Pools have been without a specialised goalkeeping coach ever since Stephen Pears left the club earlier this year.
Manager Ronnie Moore has moved to add experienced Caig to his coaching staff with the 41-year-old having spent the past five years at Carlisle.
“I have met Ronnie Moore a few times from when he was at Tranmere Rovers and last season as well and I have met a lot of the other staff members here over the years,” said Caig.
“I had a good chat with Sam Collins over the weekend as well.
“It seems like a good environment to come into and do your work, to do it properly but enjoy it as well.
“If the gaffer can bring in the players he wants to, along with the ones already here, we should have a pretty competitive team next season.”
Pools released reserve keeper Jonny Maxted, while last year’s number one keeper and captain Scott Flinders’ future remains up in the air.
Flinders was not among the names on the club’s retained list.
No official announcement has yet been made but it is understood he will be leaving the League Two side.
As a player, Caig spent the early years of his career with The Cumbrians, keeping goal over 300 times between 1990 and 1999 before moving on to Blackpool.
A brief spell with Charlton Athletic was followed by a two-year stint north of the border with Hibernian before he returned to the region to sign for Newcastle United in 2003.
Caig has also played in Canada for Vancouver Whitecaps and in America for Houston Dynamo before rounding-off his career back in England with Chesterfield and then non-league outfit Workington.
Reflecting on his time at Carlisle, Caig added: “I have been back there for six years and for five and a bit of them, I really enjoyed working there.
“I have a lot of time for the club as a whole – I played there for nine years as well.
“I just felt it was time for a change. Things weren’t quite right for me personally and when that happens, sometimes it is better to look for a fresh challenge and seeing where that takes you.
“I like the feel of things here, with the staff and players all going the same way together.”
A Carlisle spokesman said: “He stepped up as caretaker manager with Paul Thirlwell for a four game spell in September 2014 and leaves the Blues with the very best wishes of everyone at the club.”