- Thursday November 9th, 2023 @ 19:00
Melia Signs Three Year Professional Contract
St Patrick's Athletic are delighted to announce that Mason Melia has signed his first professional contract, penning a three-year deal to remain at Richmond Park until the end of the 2026 season.
The 16-year-old has scored three goals in 12 senior appearances so far, and is the youngest scorer in St Patrick's Athletic and League of Ireland history breaking his his own record twice as a 15-year-old!
He is also the youngest ever league starter for St Pat's, and our youngest ever senior appearance maker.
His goal against Wexford in the Leinster Senior Cup in February 2023 saw him replace Kian Corbally as the youngest senior scorer, before he achieved the league record a few months later!
Melia joined the St Pat's Academy in January 2022 from Bray Wanderers and quickly progressed, playing for the U15s, U17s and U19s in his first season in The Academy.
Mason became our youngest ever League debutant, and the third youngest in LOI history, when he came off the bench in a 3-0 victory over Drogheda United at Richmond Park in May 2023, aged 15 years, 7 months and 20 days old, replacing Sam Curtis as our youngest ever senior player.
He scored his first league goal in a 7-0 win against UCD on May 31st at Richmond Park, aged 15 years, 9 months and 8 days old.
That goal made him the youngest ever scorer in League of Ireland history, and the youngest ever St Patrick's Athletic league scorer, just a few weeks before he sat his Junior Cert.
Mason's best moment in a St Pat's shirt so far, was scoring the winning penalty in the FAI Cup tie in Derry in the 2nd round in August, still aged 15.
The teenager was one of the stars for the Ireland U17s in their European Championship campaign this summer and was also nominated for U16 International Player of the Year.
Mason celebrated his 16th Birthday on September 22nd 2023, the day of our game LOI Premier Division against Dundalk.
He capped off a great birthday by scoring from the spot to get his second league goal and third for the club overall, in the 3-1 victory at Richmond Park.
His last record was to become the youngest ever league starter for St Patrick's Athletic (in the modern era at least), he was aged 16 years, 1 month & 5 days old when he started the Dublin Derby against Shamrock Rovers last month, in front of over 5,000 supporters at Richmond Park, live on TV.
"It feels amazing to be officially signed and I'm looking forward to the next three years, I've made this commitment and I'm really happy.
It's been a really good two years so far at Pat's, I felt very quickly after joining that this is the place I wanted to be and I knew I'd progress here, I've played for the U15s, U17s, U19s and the First Team.
Scoring my first senior goal against UCD and becoming the youngest ever League of Ireland scorer was an amazing feeling, it's one of the great achievements I've had so nd I'm really looking forward to what's to come."
You can watch our full interviews with Mason, Manager Jon Daly and Academy Manager Ger O'Brien on our Youtube channel.
Club Chairman & Owner Garrett Kelleher added
"We are very pleased that Mason has made the decision to remain at St Patrick's Athletic and sign his first professional contract with the club, despite a lot of interest from elsewhere.
We believe that we have the wherewithal to enable young players to progress, there is a better environment now than perhaps five or ten years ago for young players in Ireland overall and at our own club, to develop all aspects of their game on and off pitch.
We have great experience in our club and what we are giving our young players now, is comparable to what they may get abroad, we still have work to do in some areas, including facilities, but Our Academy staff, led by Academy Manager Ger O'Brien, and First Team Staff, led by Manager Jon Daly, are giving all they can to help these players progress their careers.
Mason is a very well grounded young man and that's reflective of the football family he comes from, he's confident and believes in himself and where he can go in his career, and we are looking forward to helping him with that."
Manager Jon Daly is thrilled
"It's fantastic news for the club and for Mason to get his first professional contract and to commit his future to St Patrick's Athletic for the next three years is brilliant.
Our fans have been glimpses of what he can do and he's a player we are very much looking forward to seeing and working with over the next few years. He is one of the best young players in the country and we are looking forward to seeing his development and growth as a player."
Academy Manager Ger O'Brien added
"It's great news for the club, when we signed Mason into the Academy a couple of years ago, we knew what an incredible talent he was. We spoke to Mason and his parents and they wanted us to give him the platform to be the best player that he could possibly be, I'm personally delighted that Mason has chosen to do that for the next three years.
I think what we wanted to achieve together so far, from both Mason and the club's point of view, has come to fruition, so long may that continue."
Photo credit: Sportsfile / Stephen McCarthy