On-loan Carlisle midfielder Brandon Comley says that promotion via the League Two play-offs is the ultimate ambition for the club this season.
The 20-year-old is on loan from Championship side Queens Park Rangers, and after an initial month loan deal was successful, the Cumbrians extended the youngster’s stay at the club for a further month.
Currently lying in 12th, just four points from the play-offs and with games in hand on the sides above them, Comley, who made his debut in the FA Cup fourth tie against Everton last month, told Shoot that finishing in the top-seven is the goal.
“We’re trying to get that promotion, so every time we go out on that pitch we just try to get those three points,” said the midfielder.
The Islington-born starlet has made five appearances since making the move to the North West, and is enjoying his first regular taste of senior football.
“The football’s great and I’m enjoying it a lot”, he said.
“Playing first team league games is what I wanted to do and it is a lot different to the Under-21s environment.”
Despite living hours from his home city of London, Comley says that he has been made to feel welcome during his temporary spell with United.
“It’s great, everyone around the town and ground are very warm and welcoming,” he said.
“I haven’t really lived at home since I was 16 so it isn’t anything new, it’s just like being in digs but being further away from home.
“I’m not too bothered by it [living away from the capital], it’s a bit different to London up here, but other than that it’s alright, I’m not phased by it.”
Comley, who was born in north London but can represent the Caribbean nation of Montserrat, as well as England, explained the importance of having Carlisle boss Keith Curle as a mentor at present, and believes he is a great boss.
“He’s always buzzing! He’s got a lot of banter about him and has always got a smile on his face.
“But he can be serious at times which is what you need.
“You need someone who can get you working, give you a kick up the backside, but also give you the other side where you smile. He does both, and he’s a top manager really.”
Comley made his debut for his parent club on the final day of last season, where they were beaten 5-1 by Leicester in a campaign that ended with the R’s finishing bottom of the Premier League.
But despite the negative result, the Montserratian said that coming on for the final ten minutes was still a dream.
He explained: “It was the best feeling in the world if I’m honest!
“It is every young player’s dream to play in the Premier League, so it was a shock to the system. Afterwards I didn’t really realise what had happened; even though we had lost it was an amazing feeling for me.
“When I first stepped on the pitch, my team-mates told me I was doing weird stuff; like I was checking my shoulders more than I’ve ever done!
“As soon as I got on the pitch, I got a touch of the ball and I think that settled my nerves. I think I gave a good display to be fair, it was amazing.”
One of the downsides of being out on loan is the potential for a player to slip out of the manager’s thoughts, especially at a club in the Championship who could theoretically bring in players from the Premier League on loan in an event of an injury crisis.
But that is not the case for Comley and QPR, with the midfielder constantly being tracked by the coaching staff at the R’s, with first team manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink often provided with feedback on the youngster.
“They do keep an eye on me – they sent Simon Ireland (Head of Coaching and Coaching Education) to watch the Stevenage game just the other day”, said the midfielder.
“He came up and had a little word with me, he watched a bit of training and the game, and gave some feedback to the manager, so they do keep tabs on the players who go out on loan.
“It would be amazing for me [to become a first team player at QPR], but as long as I’m getting games and keep improving as a football player I’m sure there will be a route for me.”