The versatile midfielder rose through the ranks in the capital with Crystal Palace, where he would find first team opportunities as young as 19 years old. Carlisle would feature 46 times in Eagles’ colours before Simon Jordan completed a takeover of the club, investing heavily in more experienced players – subsequently limiting Carlisle’s opportunities in the first team.
After a brief loan spell to Swindon Town, he joined League Two side Bristol Rovers on a free transfer and it would prove to be a fruitful spell, with him scoring more goals in Rovers colours than any other team, netting 14 times in 71 appearances over a two year stint, before departing in 2004.
Coming off a successful spell at his previous club, he earned another two-year-deal in Sky Bet League Two with Leyton Orient where he would feature 40 times, until 2006, where he began the first chapter of his time with Exeter City.
Carlisle started brightly with the Grecians but was dealt some serious bad luck when he suffered a broken leg, which saw manager Alex Inglethorpe elect to release him at the end of the season. However, Inglethorpe departed and new boss Paul Tisdale offered Carlisle a trial, where he impressed enough to earn himself a new deal.
And it proved to be an inspired decision, as he played a major role in the Grecians side alongside future Millers boss Matt Taylor, where the pair would win their first promotion together, helping Exeter return to the Football League.
Having won promotion the previous year, Carlisle moved across the region to Torquay United and helped the Gulls to the same achievement in 2009, but his playing time was restricted back in the EFL as a result of a knee injury, following a strong start to the campaign.
At the beginning of the 2010/11 campaign, Carlisle turned down an extension with Torquay and took the decision to retire from professional football in order to focus on his coaching career, aged 31.
Wayne Carlisle’s career in coaching as seen him in a plethora of positions at a number of different clubs, all providing the Northern Irishman with invaluable experience.
Carlisle began as a youth coach at Exeter City in 2011, until he would leave that post to fulfil the same role with Plymouth Argyle in 2013.
His first taste of being an assistant manager came in 2014 with Truro City, until he was offered a job as the Director of the Youth Department back with Exeter in 2017.
However, his first significant break came in 2019 following the departure of first team assistant manager Eric Kinder, when Carlisle became Matt Taylor’s assistant manager and the pair would form quite the partnership, guiding the Grecians to promotion from Sky Bet League Two last term, finishing runners-up.
Carlisle joined Matt Taylor at AESSEAL New York Stadium when the pair made the move from Exeter City in October 2022, in which they helped the Millers preserve their second tier status.