Adam Clayton has returned to City following a season-long loan at Carlisle.

The Academy graduate clocked up 36 appearances during his time with the Cumbrian outfit and is now looking forward to pre-season training with the Blues.

“I enjoyed my time with Carlisle,” he said. “We had a decent season and managed to get to Wembley so it was a great experience for me.

“I played a lot of games and gained valuable experience so it was definitely worth going out on loan.”

Though he scored a goal against Everton in the FA Cup, it was the Wembley final that stood out for the 21-year-old play-maker.

“I’d only played a couple of games in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and didn’t know that much about the competition,” he said.

“Then we played Leeds United in the semi-final and one of the lads told me that if we won we’d be at Wembley and I said, ‘Are you serious?’

We got past Leeds and played Southampton in the final. I’ll never forget walking down the tunnel at Wembley to see 73,000 fans inside the stadium. Everything from the day was special - apart from the result

...Adam Clayton


“Lining up before the game, the national anthem – all of it. It was the best football experience I’ve had so far.

“The Carlisle fans were great with me. They had a song for me and I’ve had loads of them tell me they wanted me to stay or maybe come back next season, all of which was nice to hear.

“Jim Cassell, Mike Rigg and Barry Poynton have been up to watch me quite a few times and they’ve given me reports on how they feel I’ve done in the games they’ve seen. They’ve told me they were keeping the manager informed on my progress.”

Clayton is now hoping to impress Roberto Mancini in pre-season and force his way into the senior squad for the 2010/11 campaign.

“It’s nice to be back and I’m looking forward to next season already. I’ve been at City since I was seven so this will always feel like my club.

“I can’t wait to start training and show the manager what I can do because obviously he hasn’t really seen anything of me so far. Hopefully there will be opportunities during our pre-season matches to play and I’ll be doing everything I can to impress the boss.

“The manager has proved that he will give young players a chance if he thinks they are ready. You never know what might happen and if I do well, it could be that I get my chance next season.

“My aim is to play my way into the manager’s plans and see where it takes me.”