Melling: I need to bide my time, earn my stripes

The Central Coast Mariners’ newest midfielder, Jacob Melling has completed two training sessions on the Central Coast and is ready to take his first opportunity with both hands.

Today, Melling was named in the provisional squad set to take on Melbourne Victory in Hyundai A-League Round 14 but the tenacious midfielder knows he will need to work hard to get that first chance.

After his first two sessions in Yellow & Navy, Melling praised the tight-knit culture on the Coast.  

“It’s obviously a new surrounding for me but I feel like I’m slowly settling in,” Melling said. “The boys have welcomed me with open arms so I just need to focus on doing the right things, biding my time and earning my stripes and I’m looking forward to getting more settled.

“I need to make sure I can do as much as I can at training so that I can be selected and stay fit. I’ve played most of my career as a defensive midfielder but it’s up to Paul Okon to decide where he wants me to play.  

“Straight away I can see that the boys here are a really close with one another, that’s a great trait to have in a club so as long as we can keep building from week-to-week I know the results will come,” Melling said.

Melling’s signing comes at a crucial time for the Mariners who face three games in short succession. The focus for the former Wanderer is to work hard on the training track and catch the eye of Paul Okon.

The 22-year-old is fighting fit after returning from an injury that hampered his 2016/17 season with Western Sydney – his goal is to add to his 48 Hyundai A-League appearances and contribute to the Mariners’ successes.

“Nothing comes easy in life but as long as I keep working and doing the right things on the training track, the rest will take care of itself,” Melling said. “it’s a new team for me, great bunch of lads and I am looking forward to getting out on the park, hopefully it’s this weekend.

“When the opportunity comes to me, I want to be able to take it with both hands – that’s the plan.

“I’m hoping to get some more minutes under my belt, it’s been hard this year and I’ve only played about 55 minutes so I want to get back into the groove – when I was playing with Melbourne City against Victory it was always exciting so it’s always good to get a win over Melbourne Victory,” Melling said.

Melling was welcomed to the Mariners by some familiar faces in the playing group but the coaching staff also played a role in his decision to switch to the Central Coast having played under Paul Okon at Young Socceroos level and Assistant Coach Ivan Jolic at Melbourne City.

“Paul Okon played a big part in me coming here,” Melling said. “I had him in a camp in Spain, I like his coaching style and the way he wanted me to play, I also had Jolo [Assistant Coach, Ivan Jolic] when I was at Melbourne City so together I think they are a great combination and play some great football,” Melling said.

Match Details
Saturday, 6 January 2018
Hyundai A-League Round 14
Match: Melbourne Victory vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
Kick-off: 6:00pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA 501
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #MVCvCCM & #CCMFC