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  • Writer's pictureGio Mellos

Why not getting signed was the BEST thing for my career!

Updated: May 9

The below post is written by Gio Mellos, an Australian Footballer who has spent 5 months chasing his dream in the USA. I want to thank him for sharing his experiences, what a legend!

I live my life by a famous Japanese proverb:

Nana korobi ya oki

Fall down seven times, get up eight

Last year, I made the toughest decision of my life.

I chose to leave everything behind back home - 

My job, my family, friends I had met over the years,

All sense of security - 

And push for my dreams in the land of the free and home of the brave, the USA.

I had a handful of professional opportunities through a contact of mine,

But nothing concrete.

I had no other connections overseas and was fighting for a limited international roster spot.

It was a complete shot in the dark…

But any shot is a shot worth taking.

So I packed my clothes and boots, and booked a one-way ticket up north.

After 5 months of open tryouts,

Networking with coaches,

Living out of my suitcase,

All while trying to stay fit and keep up consistent training,

I had my shot with a professional team in Colorado.

It was one of the best experiences of my life - 

Wearing professional kit,

Training once, sometimes twice a day, with players who represent their national teams,


Experiencing the pro lifestyle,

I was living my dream…

All I needed was to sign on that dotted line.

Then, 2 weeks into preseason.

I got cut.

“Look Gio, we’ve got someone coming from Spain next week,

And to be honest, you’re not at the level of the other internationals.”

You’re not at the level.”

Those words became ingrained within my skull.

I was shattered.

I had no money left, couldn’t get a visa, and was without a contract.

But looking back now,

Not getting signed is the best thing that could’ve happened for me.

You see, most people would say,

“You failed.”

Yes, I did.

But I’ve failed hundreds of times already in my journey as a footballer.

What’s important to remember as an overseas athlete is that rejection is an inevitable part of sport,

And life.

But rejection is simply a redirection,

To prepare you for something bigger,

Something you are truly meant to do.

Fall down seven times, get up eight

Be prepared to fail,

Take the lessons from that failure,

And bounce back twice as hard.

You can’t avoid rejection,

So deal with it.

Embrace it,

And you’ll see how much you discover about yourself in the process.

I’m still getting knocked down every day,

But I still get up.

It’s a choice,

So choose wisely.

Your #1 fan,


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