Micky Mellon goes full-time

FLEETWOOD Town FC manager Micky Mellon has spoken in-depth about his new full-time position with the club.

From Monday, Mellon, who has been in the Highbury hot seat since last September, becomes the first-ever full-time boss at Fleetwood.

The appointment is designed to ensure a continued push towards Conference National football and build a youth academy to cater for squad needs in years to come.

Mellon, 36, said: "Any manager working part-time at this level will tell you the hours are more or less full time regardless of your day job. This will allow me to spend more time preparing the first team both in terms of match day and training readiness.

"That will be a key part of the role. It will also give me time to spend scouting opposition games and keeping an eye on interesting players. Many reserve games happen in the afternoons and I've not been able to cover them until now. I'll be able to go and watch matches and see if there is anything better than what we have already."

Town chief executive, Steve Curwood has worked closely with Blackpool & The Fylde College and the Football Conference to establish the youth setup.

He said: "Plans have reached the final stages and full details of the academic and football aspects will be released next week. We have now reached the stage were practical, hands on experience is required and Micky Mellon is part of that plan. This step was part of the initial appointment last September," said Curwood.

Former Blackpool, Tranmere Rovers and West Brom player Mellon will be charged with defining the technical blueprint for the new Academy, including new roles and responsibilities.

He added: "I'll also be playing a big part in setting up the academy and will be working closely with Steve Curwood to achieve that goal. It needs to be setup in a way that will enable the club to uncover home grown footballers. This will be done in such a way to open the route from the academy right through to first team football.

That means we can start producing our own players from the local area. Ensure promising youngsters are identified and guided is what it's all about. That's why this full-time appointment is so important. I'm going to be really busy.

"It's brilliant for the local area. As a manager I would take a great deal of pride in having three or four local lads playing in the first team. It's an important way for youngsters to combine football and education. It offers youngsters a real footballing chance and gives parents the reassurance education is provided.

"Combining the role of first team manager and setting up the academy won't create any problems. My trade is the football industry. I'm absolutely delighted that I've been given this opportunity at Fleetwood Town. That first happened three months ago when I was tasked with managing the football club and now with the setup of the academy.

"There will be a lot of meetings taking place over the next few weeks, including formally meeting with the Fleetwood Town Juniors and building relationships. The only down side I see is the fact I'll be available for the inevitable admin jobs that need doing!

"I've relinquished involvement with the youth setup at Burnley late last year and given up other work commitment's. This part of the roles was spoken about when I was considered for the job. It's not a decision that has just been made. Highbury is an exciting place to be and will continue to be so for years to come" added Mellon.

Full details of the BTEC Diploma in Sport scheme will be released next week by Blackpool & The Fylde College and Fleetwood Town.

Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley says a manager who is able to dedicate himself full-time is essential for the club's forward direction. He says Micky Mellon working full-time is another key building block in the development of football at Highbury Stadium.

He said: "Management at this level needs this sort of commitment. It is a necessary move to help us reach where we want to be. Micky Mellon becoming full-time is another clear indication of our intention to progress further still. Micky meets the aspirations of the board regarding the first team and the new academy.

"Our aim is to have the infrastructure of a Football League club and this is another part of that plan. That can't be done on a part-time basis. It's important we have key people in the right jobs. The appointment of Steve Curwood early in 2008 as chief executive was a clear statement of intention at that time. Appointing the manager on a full-time basis is another," said Pilley.

The chairman said there would be inevitable questions about other personnel turning full-time. "I've been asked about the squad going full-time and that is something we are constantly monitoring. We will do what is necessary to progress the club forward. It's a very exciting time for Fleetwood Town. Decisions will be made when appropriate."