Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels looks like he will be signing Carlisle defender Peter Murphy who is leaving Brunton Park after 12 years. The Killie manager, who is also hoping to sign goalkeeper Craig Samson from St Mirren, said: "We have Peter Murphy from Carlisle. I am confident we can cross the line with that one. He is an experienced left centre-back who has over 400 games for Carlisle behind him. He is a top player. He fits our needs and he has the quality as well."Shiels hopes that Murphy would be able to help nurture teenage centre-back Lee Ashcroft, who made his debut for Killie in last weekend's 3-2 win over Dundee. Ashcroft signed a new three-year contract and then scored on his first start on Wednesday in the 3-1 defeat by Hibs. He said: "First of all I was absolutely delighted at getting offered my new contract and to get my first start the other night was absolutely amazing. It was the best experience of my life. I was obviously a bit gutted about the result. When I got my goal to make it 1-1 I thought we had a chance to go on and win it. To lose the game so late was a bit disappointing but we will learn from the mistakes and hopefully improve on that."Ashcroft has been encouraged by Shiels' attitude to promoting from the youth ranks. The defender said: "He has been at all the under-20s games this season and we had a great team. We have done really well, unfortunately we lost in the semi-final of the cup, but we have an excellent team and the gaffer has given all of us a chance. When you step up to the first-team training there is more intensity. But you work hard and you enjoy it playing with experienced players. If you make a mistake they will tell you what you have done wrong. It's a great experience playing with people who have been in the game for a lot of years."One of those players is former Rangers striker Kris Boyd, who has been passing on tips in training. Ashcroft said: "It's brilliant because when I was younger I used to watch him on telly. It's a great experience. When you see his movement you know what you are going to come up against when you play a game. It's excellent because he helps you as well. If he makes a run he will tell you to watch what he's doing."