Jacob Mendy was announced last week as the sixth summer signing for Phil Parkinson, as the Wrexham AFC manager added another versatile player to his squad for the 2022/23 season.
Mendy joined from Boreham Wood on a three-year deal, and the left-sided player will make competition for places rife at Wrexham.
Born in Gambia, Mendy would move to Spain as a six-year-old and eventually spend time at the Atletico Madrid academy.
He would then move to England at the age of 19, and had to work part-time jobs alongside football, in order to make his dream a reality.
The Spaniard was picked up by Wealdstone in 2019, after scoring five goals in five games for Carshalton Athletic in the Ryman League.
He would go on to be a part of their success in the National League South in 2019/20, as they gained automatic promotion to the top tier of non-league football.
Whilst playing for Wealdstone in the National League, Jacob remarked on how he would also work part-time at a construction site, where he’d often have to be at work for 7.30am the day after a Tuesday night game. Before this, he also worked as a cleaner and for a waste management firm, showcasing the two sides to the life of a part-time footballer.
Upon his arrival in Wrexham, Jacob exclaimed how this ‘tough journey... had to be done,’ as he looked back on the determination and grit displayed in his life to be where he is today.
His versatility is not exclusive to the pitch either, as he is able to speak Mandinka, Spanish, Portuguese and English.
Although finishing 19th in the first season in the National League, Mendy was a shining light with 10 goals in all competitions from the left side. He was named as the Stones’ Player of the Season at just 21 years of age.
Form like this would not be ignored and Boreham Wood came in for the youngster for the 2021/22 season, signing Mendy on a three-year, Club-record deal, after activating his buyout clause.
After a strong start to the season, it was ultimately disappointment for the Wood, as they missed out on the Play-Offs altogether. Mendy was once again however, a beacon of excellence, playing all 44 league games and being a significant part of their memorable FA Cup run.
Boreham Wood would get to the Fifth Round Proper of the FA Cup, before being overcome by Premier League side Everton at Goodison Park. The exposure of victories against the likes of AFC Wimbledon and AFC Bournemouth is what helped to illuminate Mendy’s abilities to the wider world.
Indeed, Wrexham were already aware of the wing-back's capabilities and hence leaped at the chance to bring him to the Racecourse, to bolster our options down the left-hand side.
Actions speak louder than words, and Jacob’s persistence to achieve the next steps in his career are clear as day.