Adelaide United have lured home exciting 18-year-old attacking midfielder George Mells on a one-year deal with the option to extend for a further season.
After attracting widespread interest during his early footballing years, Mells left Australia at the age of 12 to sign for Chelsea FC’s youth team and later moved to fellow English Premier League outfit, Southampton, when he was 14.
Mells grabbed the attention of United officials due to his great technical skills and the invaluable experience he’s gained during his time in the United Kingdom, giving him a great football base.
During his time overseas, Mells earned himself national youth team call-ups from both Australia and Greece, and represented Australia’s U17 Joeys side, as well as Greece’s U17s in their UEFA European Championship qualifiers.
Speaking to the club following the signing of his contract, Mells said the style of Adelaide’s football was one of the most influencing factors in his decision to join the Reds.
“It’s a fantastic feeling to have signed for Adelaide,” Mells said. It’s a great opportunity for me to finally play some senior football and the Club have a great philosophy especially with the Spanish influence through the coaching staff.
“When I spoke to Josep it was clear that he promotes a very Spanish-like style, which is the type of game that suits me and it was one of the main reasons why I chose to come to Adelaide.
“It’s a very strong team and I’m honoured that the club has given me a place in the team for this season and I’m looking forward to having another successful season like they did last season.
“I want to make as many appearances as I can in the first-team and I want to have a big impact on the squad.
“Now is the right time for me to start stepping into senior football and I feel Adelaide is the best place for me to do that.”
Reflecting on his time with English giants, Chelsea and Southampton, Mells also explained how vital his time with the two clubs was in his development.
“Since leaving Australia, my game has grown immensely because I left at a very young age and I’ve been able to experience two very good clubs in England where I’ve been able to learn off some fantastic players and coaches,” Mells said.
“When I was at Chelsea, we got to meet all the first-team players and I got to speak with Frank Lampard quite a bit. He’s someone I play in a similar position to and I always used to watch Frank at training to see what he was doing and I’ve picked up a lot of things just by watching him from day-to-day.
“At Southampton I had the opportunity to train with the first-team a few times and I picked up a lot from players like Adam Lallana, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Rickie Lambert.
“Even Southampton’s manager at the time, Mauricio Pochettino, was someone I was very close with and I used to speak to and get advice from often.”
United’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Petrillo, said he is very pleased that the Club has been able to attract such a talented and young player to Adelaide.
“I think it’s a great credit to our coaching staff and football programme that a young, talented Australian player such as George has chosen to further his football career with us,” Petrillo said.
“George impressed our coaches in his two trials here and there was no hesitation in offering him a contract as he will undoubtedly bolster our midfield ranks this season.”
Date of Birth: 23 May 1997 (18-years-old)
Place of Birth: Melbourne, Australia
Position: Central Midfield