Burnley-born defender Tom Anderson has spent the majority of his Burnley career playing for the Youth Team and Development Squad, impressing in the Non-League in his four loan spells, but the 21-year-old is ready to show what he is about in the Football League.
Anderson, who has been at the club since the age of seven, signed his first professional contract with the club in May 2012, after catching the eye in the Youth Team that reached the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup.
The 6ft 4” defender got his first taste of competitive football at Barrow in 2012, making a handful of appearances. Upon his return, Anderson made the bench for the Clarets first-team in a trip away to Millwall in January 2013 before ending the campaign at Hyde.
Following a brief spell at Halifax, Tom travelled with his Premier League team mates to Austria on a Pre-Season tour, before being awarded his chance to impress in a month’s loan to Lincoln City, a chance he was grateful for.
Anderson said: “Fortunately for me Lincoln took a chance on me and I managed to play six games there in the space of a month, which is quite a lot considering I only played eight games between pre-season and when I went to Lincoln in September.
“I wasn’t expecting go on loan somewhere else, I just wanted to impress but you never know who are watching you in games.
“There might be scouts there looking at other players on a different team, but if you play well and you grab their attention there’s a chance somebody might take a chance on you.”
After playing six games for the Imps and scoring his first professional goal, Carlisle’s heads were turned and signed the 21-year-old on an initial month’s loan.
And Anderson, who has now played three times for The Cumbrians, has been rewarded for his patience.
“After a month at Lincoln, I felt like I was ready to make that step up to league football. I have my chance now and I have got to take it and show people what I can do.
“I’m enjoying it at Carlisle, the training has been decent and they are a good set of lads.
“It wasn’t the greatest of starts for us in my first game, we lost 3-0 at Portsmouth but it was a great learning curve and I enjoyed my Football League debut.
“I am only signed on here for a month but hopefully the Gaffer likes me enough to keep me here longer.
“All I can try to do is keep playing well and keep on progressing.
“My main aim to do the best I can for Carlisle and hopefully good words come back to Burnley and be in their thoughts.”
After his first appearance for the club at Portsmouth, Carlisle manager Keith Curle commented on the defender’s Football League debut: "I liked his aggression and I liked the way he wanted to compete. It was a tough introduction for him because he was in a back four which I thought became a bit lazy.
"He worked to help turn that round and I liked his presence and the way he wanted to work hard all the way through. He likes to defend first and that's something we wanted to see. It was good start for him and I'm sure he'll get better and better from here."