Young Newcastle loan star Alex Gilliead has got more than he bargained for with his loan spell at Carlisle United.
The 19 year old winger had said that he was looking forward to playing ‘proper men’s football’ when he got the chance to go out on loan for regular first team football in League Two.
In that respect Alex Gilliead has really progressed, becoming a regular in the Carlisle team, scoring goals and registering a number of assists.
However, the young player has had the bonus of some extra lessons in life after finding himself caught up in the middle of the devastating floods that have affected Cumbria.
Alex Gilliead was one of fifteen players who went out to help flood victims in the clear up after the floods and he has been recounting the humbling experience of what he experienced when going into people’s homes that had been affected.
The on-loan player saying that instead of helping he should get himself home and get his feet up, to rest up for the next match.
It is obvious that this loan experience will have done Gilliead the power of good on and off the pitch, wherever he plays his football in the future.
In fact this Saturday he will be playing at yet another new stadium as with Brunton Park unable to be used, Carlisle will take on Notts County at Preston’s Deepdale.
Carlisle recently confirmed that Newcastle United had offered to help in any way they can but no news yet as to whether this includes the possibility of any game being played at St James Park.
Alex Gilliead talking to Carlisle News & Star:
“I thought it was amazing to go and help people, to see the looks on their faces when we went into their houses.
“I actually thought it wasn’t going to be as bad as it was, but when you got there, it was, like, ‘whoa. It’s done a lot of damage’.
“You don’t think it’s going to happen to you personally but it’s happened to these people and you realise it can happen to anyone. So it is just nice to go and help. Just to give a bit back.
“A lot of them were supporters. Quite a few of them, when we were going into the houses, were saying, ‘Go and put your feet up, get three points against Oxford’, but we wanted to help and it was nice to do that.
“You feel for them and after what has happened your first thought is to help, it kind of makes you one community.
“I’m loving it (playing first team for Carlisle), I expected it to be a bit more rough and tough on the pitch but it’s still good. I just want to carry on doing well.”
Extra incentive to cheer people up after the floods:
“I wouldn’t say to cheer them up, as such, because I don’t know whether as footballers we can do that, but it’s definitely given us a bit of extra incentive to do well.
“As much as we always want to win, we want to win even more so now for the people affected, and who can’t make it to the games as well.”
Playing at Preston:
“I’ve played at Ewood Park before, it’s a nice stadium, and Deepdale looks a good stadium too. It will be good to go there and hopefully we’ll get some decent crowds.
“Maybe we can show people around that area what we’re all about, and hopefully they’ll enjoy seeing our type of football, our style of play. Hopefully we’ll get a couple of wins as well.”