Carlisle United have today signed defender Jon Mellish on a one-year deal (with an option) which keeps him at the club until the end of the 2019/20 season.
Mellish, 21, a Gateshead College graduate, came through the under-19 system with the Heed and also enjoyed a loan spell with Newcastle Benfield as he cut his teeth in the game.
The left-footed centre-back, who can play a number of roles, made his first-team debut in the final game of the 2016/17 National League season and was subsequently offered a full contract with the club.
The young defender made a total of 58 appearances for his hometown team, scoring twice, and made his debut for the England C squad in a 1-0 victory over the Estonia under-23 side in October 2018.
He picked up the National League’s young player of the year award at a ceremony in London earlier this week.
Manager Steven Pressley said: “The first thing about this signing is that it isn’t easy to find good left-sided central defenders.
“The second thing is that at the age of 21 he played 46 games in the Conference last season and he picked up the award that he got at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday because of how he did in those games.
“We’ve watched him a number of times live and we’re really pleased that we’ve got this one over the line. He had a number of clubs who wanted to speak to him but he’s listened to what we had to say and he thinks this is the right step for him.
“I genuinely think he’s a young man who has huge potential and it’s about us now working together to bring that out of him. There’s no better time than pre-season for that to start and I know he’s looking forward to it as well.”
“I’ve spoken to him about what we expect from him and, I have to say, that I think he’s had a great schooling in the game with having played in a very good Conference team,” he added. “It’s a tough league and he now understands what it takes to do your job against strong, aggressive attackers.
“He’s experienced first hand the basics of football and that’s really important in a defender’s development. He now has a platform to build on in terms of what comes next and we’re looking forward to helping him to go to the next level.”