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INTERVIEW: Means everything to achieve something

Jon Mellish on penalties, celebrations and what it means to be in League One

7 June 2023


INTERVIEW: Means everything to achieve something

Jon Mellish on penalties, celebrations and what it means to be in League One

7 June 2023

An option clause in his contract meant it was good news for Jon Mellish towards the end of the season when it was confirmed that he’ll be adding to the 168 appearances (with 25 goals) that he’s notched up so far with Blues, since joining the club back in the summer of 2019.


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“I obviously knew the club had an option in my contract, so I’m pleased it’s been triggered and I’m here for another season,” he said. “I’ve signed that and hopefully going forward we can look at something longer, we’ll just see what happens over the next few weeks.

“I’m delighted to be here going into League One next season. I’ve been here a long time now and I love it here, I feel like it’s part of me and I’m part of the club. I’ve enjoyed it so far and days like Wembley are why we’ve all done it.

“It’s been a bit of a mad journey so far. I obviously come in as a centre half then made my way up the pitch and back down. There’s been goals, and ups and downs, but winning last Sunday made it all worth it.

“It’s made all the travelling and the sacrifices worth it, we’ve finally reached our goal in the end.”

“It means everything to actually achieve something with this club,” he continued. “I think I had 15 or 20 people down at Wembley, with friends, family, my girlfriend and my son.

“Looking up and seeing them all was just a mad feeling, I keep trying to go back to it to relive it because it still doesn’t feel real. I appreciate all the support I’ve had off them, they’re always there for me and they do as much travelling as I do. I really appreciate it all.”

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The victory on one of the biggest stages there is earned the Cumbrians promotion to League One after a nine-season absence.

“I don’t think the fact we’re in League One has really sunk in yet,” he admitted. “I think it was starting to, but then I look back at the pictures again and I start thinking it wasn’t actually real.

“It’s just crazy, I don’t think it’ll really settle in until we’re back in for pre-season and preparing for it. I think that’s when I’ll really realise what’s happened.

“I hadn’t really looked at the league until last Monday and there are definitely some big teams in there. I think it will be a good challenge for us all but there’s no reason we can’t do something good again.”

Talking about the Stockport final, he commented: “The whole day was incredible. I think in the lead up to the game I felt a bit numb to be honest, I was just trying to take it all in, but I wasn’t sure how to feel. I knew it would all fly by quickly so I wanted to take as much of it in as I could.

“I got an own goal, but I think I’ll take that to be fair! There was nothing I could do for it, I heard it get announced as his goal so I was a bit relieved, but I saw it get changed on the screen and my head went a bit. I knew I just had to get on with it, and thankfully I did.

“For the game itself I obviously had the suspension for the semi-finals so I was just hoping I would get the chance to be involved in one more game, because that would mean we’d got to the final.

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“It obviously didn’t get off to the best of starts with the own goal, but I just had to keep my head up and keep going. We got there in the end and that’s the main thing.”

The important equaliser came from the boot of Omari Patrick, but during the same phase of play there’d been a huge shout for handball when a goal-bound Mellish attempt appeared to be stopped by an outstretched arm.

“It was great for Marzi to get the goal but my shot just before then, that we thought we should have had a penalty for, I just couldn’t believe it,” he admitted. “I saw it come back to me and I knew I had the whole goal to aim at.

“I thought if I got it on target it was in, but I managed to kick it straight at him which was probably typical. I’m not sure if it would have been handball or not, but if definitely hit his arm. Marzi scored 90 seconds later so who cares.”

It was then into the penalty shootout and a clip that went viral after a certain player celebrated in a certain way.

“I do feel comfortable with penalties, and I didn’t really feel nervous to be honest,” he revealed. “I was quite excited to take one because we’d been practicing them all week.

“To be honest I don’t have a method to it, I just run up and kick I as hard as I can. I knew that if I didn’t know what I was going to do, then the keeper definitely wouldn’t. I just put my foot through it and enjoyed it.


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“I did give the Stockport fans a bit of stick after I’d scored but that’s just part of football, it’s nothing personal. We obviously took the pens in front of their fans so they were all giving us a bit of abuse before we took them, so I just thought I would give them a bit back. I love that side of the game.

“I couldn’t even tell you how it felt when we watched Taylor score his penalty. It was mental, I think I fell straight to the floor because I didn’t even know what to do with myself.

“If I could bottle up that feeling I would keep it forever, it was unbelievable, but I can’t even describe it. That’s what we’ve all worked for all season, and we finally got it.”

“The walk up to get the trophy was hard work after 120 minutes!” he joked. “My calves and my hamstrings were in bits so I didn’t really enjoy it to be honest!

“Once you’re at the top and you see the trophy in front of all the fans, it was just unbelievable. To lift the trophy and get a medal at Wembley, you just can’t beat it.

“I still don’t believe it happened sometimes. It all happened so quickly in the end after such a big build up to it. It’s gone, we’ve won, and it’s just about looking forward to seeing what we can do next season in League One.”

And it’s already now just over three weeks until the players are back and getting ready for the new season.

“It’s going to be a quick turnaround for us getting back in for pre-season,” he agreed. “When I get back from my holiday I’ll be straight back to running and getting myself fit again.

“I’m excited for it. I think it will be nice to have a quick turnaround so we can get straight back to it because I think everyone is just excited for the new challenge.

“I can’t even think far enough ahead to set any targets for next season yet. I just want to play and enjoy it, it’s somewhere I never thought I’d ever get to if I’m being honest, so I’m just going to enjoy having that chance.”

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