NEW Mossley footballer Jamie McClellan arrived at Seel Park after becoming a YouTube hit.
The 22-year-old, returning after four years in America, produced a highlights package from games he had played in the US.
“I sent the link to 15 clubs and Mossley were the first to respond with Peter Band calling to ask me to training,” he explained.
McClellan, already a hit with the Lilywhites, is a dead ringer for Arsenal and Germany Per Mertesacker.
He is also a central defender, but with a canny resemblance and playing style.
“It was Lloyd Morrison (Mossley joint manager) who came with the name. I am not complaining, and will take that,” he joked.
It is not often Mossley have to get international clearance for one of their players, but that is what happened with McClellan who is back home after four years in America where he has played college and semi-professional football.
McClellan, who had been playing for Altrincham’s youth team, was head hunted by University Union College, Kentucky, where he studied for a degree on sports management.
He achieved success helping them to three conference championships and reaching the last eight in the nationals.
In addition he also spent one year playing for Knoxville Force, Tennessee, in the National Premier Soccer League, the fourth tier of football.
McClellan also had a spell playing for Grand Rapids FC in Michigan.
“The standard of the football was really good and the leagues featured top college players and also some older ones. It was a great experience and I played against a couple of United States U20 players,” he said.
McClellan also got the chance to play in front of crowds as large as in League One and Two of the English Football League.
“Grand Rapids had crowds of 4,000 and we played away at Detroit City in front of 5,500 which was crazy,” he explained.
McClellan was offered the chance to stay in America in a coaching capacity while continuing to study for a masters degree, but decided to return home as he wanted to pursue a playing career.
In his teens, McClellan had spells with Macclesfield Town and Accrington Stanley and has ambitions to return to that level, or even higher.
He is currently combining football with working as a greenkeeper at Tytherington Golf and Country Club, Macclesfield, where his father is head chef.