FORMER Bristol Rovers star Dave Mehew has urged his son to take his chance at Blackburn Rovers with both hands.
Olly Mehew has signed a scholarship contract after a successful trial at the end of last season and the Championship giants will pay Bristol Rovers compensation under the fixed tariff as part of Elite Player Performance Plan rules.
By moving into the professional ranks the 16-year-old is following in the footsteps of his father, who began his career at Leeds United and has been on hand to offer sound advice.
“As I keep telling him he can go as far as he wants to go,” said Mehew Senior, who lives in Frampton Cotterell and has another son, 13-year-old centre-back Tom, on Bristol Rovers’ books.
“It’s not all about ability, it’s about handling the pressure, having a little bit of luck and having the desire to do it.
“He has sacrificed a lot in his young years with friends and everything but it’s down to him.
“Ability isn’t everything – I’ve tried to beat a drum to that.
“I now have to take a seat back and it’s up to Blackburn to take him forward."
Mehew attracted interest from the likes of Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham, while a move to Norwich broke down in January.
“You never really know how much interest there is from others but I believe Blackburn are a Premiership outfit all bar the league they’re playing in,” said Dave Mehew.
“They are a category one club which is really important because they’ve got one of the best academies in the country.
“They’ve had a bit of a rebuild in the last couple of years and have been stabilised by the manager (Gary Bowyer), which you can see from the outside, so hopefully they’ll be back where they belong sooner rather than later and hopefully they will be able to progress Olly.”
One of Mehew’s standout attributes is his pace and his father believes the training he received from Dean Garrett at Bristol and West and Yate and District Athletics Clubs, as well as at Bristol Rovers, played a big role in his move.
He said: “I’d like to thank Bristol Rovers for their support and also his athletics coach Dean Garrett.
“It shows Rovers Academy are alive and kicking in a disappointing time for the club and they’ve got other players coming through.
“Athletics was his summer sport and that also had a bearing on the interest in him.”