JORDAN Mellish will be given his opportunity for Blyth Spartans this afternoon – and manager Tom Wade has told the 21-year-old there could be a second chance for him if he works hard enough, writes STUART RAYNER.
The defender was released by Hartlepool United last season, but Wade thinks the financial climate could work to his advantage.
With Robbie Dale (groin) and Lee Mason (hamstring) injured for Blyth’s final game of the season at Nantwich Town today, Mellish is set to come back into the side. It is, says Wade, just reward.
He said: “Mellish has done exceptionally well.
“He left under the previous manager (Paddy Atkinson) but I brought him back in.
“He suits the level. He’s not as fit as he would like but he works hard and he has a good attitude.
“Everybody’s cutting their cloth and we’re getting back to the old days where clubs are looking harder down the leagues to pick players up.
“Jordan and Danny Maguire are still 21 year-olds and they’ve a bit of a chance to get back into league football.
“I’ve worked hard with both of them to get them to a good level. They’re playing well and with confidence.
“We do try to breed into them to express themselves with confidence on the park.”
Finances have tightened considerably at Croft Park in recent years – good news for the younger members of Wade’s squad.
Wade added: “Every club has had to cut their cloth a bit more, from the top down. We are being sensible about it.
“We’re looking at developing a younger squad, which is no bad thing. It’s going to be an opportunity for some of our players.
“We have a lot of young lads around the club and it’s a good time for them because they will get their chance.
“Danny McGuire and John Burgess have impressed recently, and Mellish will get his chance.
“We’re looking forward to how our young lads get on at Nantwich.
“It’s an away game, which will help, and should be good for them.”
Mellish is not the only one looking to return to a higher level, which is why John Cornforth is to leave Blyth’s coaching staff.
Wade said: “John has been excellent. He wants to get back into the professional game and we hope he achieves that.”