Just a day after being released by Western Sydney Wanderers, Jacob Melling has signed with Central Coast Mariners for the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season.
With the Mariners to be without Daniel De Silva, Trent Buhagiar and Tom Glover due to Australia U23 duty in January, the 22-year-old midfielder’s addition is a boost for the Gosford club.
Melling has notched 48 Hyundai A-League appearances during his time at Adelaide United, Melbourne City and the Wanderers.
“I’m very excited and really look forward to hitting the ground running with my new club,” Melling said.
“I know quite a few of the boys here so I am looking forward to working with all the players and staff.
“For me, seeing the way the Mariners play – they are a great team to watch. They’ve got a lot of young players so I think I can fit into the team nicely and make a difference to progressing on the ladder.
“The main goal for me is to get as many minutes under my belt as I can. Being injured for half of last season was frustrating. Now I’m back to full fitness so I just want to be able to contribute and do everything I can to help the team.
“I am fit, ready to play and I just have to bide my time to be selected. When I get that opportunity, I need to take it with both hands.”
Melling is a product of the Australian Institute of Sport and debuted in the Hyundai A-League with the Reds as a teenager in the 2011/12 Season.
Having completed his first session with the club on Wednesday, he could make his debut this weekend against Melbourne Victory in Geelong.
“Jacob joins the Mariners at a crucial time of the season, especially when we’re faced with such a busy period in January,” coach Paul Okon said.
“During this time, it’s important that every player in the squad is ready to play their part and we know that Jacob arrives in top condition and ready to play when called upon.
“I’ve worked with Jacob before at the Young Socceroos so I know him quite well. Jacob is very good on the ball, we’re a team that likes to dominate possession and move teams around and Jacob has that ability.
“He has a very good passing range, he’s quite tenacious, he’s a real fighter and he’s a good character in the dressing room. All of the attributes we were looking for when we decided we wanted to bring in a midfielder, Jacob has certainly ticked all of those boxes.”
Meanwhile, the Mariners also revealed defender Harry Ascroft has been granted permission to trial with a club in Malta.