CARLISLE UNITED HAVE announced the signing of former Ireland U21 defender Corey Whelan on a two-year deal. 

The 23-year-old was on the books at Wigan Athletic last season, but will now be plying his trade in League Two.

Born in Chester, Whelan arrived at Liverpool from Crew Alexandra at the age of nine and worked his way through the Reds’ academy to captain their U23s. 

After loan spells with Yeovil Town and Crewe, he moved to the US to sign for Phoenix Rising in the USL Championship in 2019. 

Whelan returned to English football following two years in America. 

“Corey is another good signing for us,” said Carlisle United boss Chris Beech. “He came through at Liverpool and has that adaptable technical pedigree to play anywhere across the back four, or as a defensive midfielder.

“He’s a great age, a good size, and as a player he has the competitive temperament to defend and dominate the ball. He fits well into what we want to achieve and provides plenty of selection and formation options for us moving forward.

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“He’s had great loan experience playing for Yeovil and Crewe in League Two, and then again last season for Wigan in League One when he came back from playing in America. He was at Liverpool for a long time and they speak really highly of him.

“He’s an ambitious lad and he wants to do with us what some of our other players in a similar situation did last season – develop his game and be part of our progressive journey.

“It’s great to have him here and he’s another for us to get behind when he’s out on the pitch.”