For a 24-year-old, Jacob Melling is already somewhat of an A-League journeyman. But the midfielder insists that he's toughing it out with Central Coast Mariners.
After launching his career at Adelaide United, Melling subsequently played at Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers, before joining the Mariners in 2018.
With a maximum of two years in the same city throughout his club career, Melling is searching for stability. Unfortunately for the devastated sounding midfielder, his spell at the Central Coast has been anything but.
"We're very disappointed with everyone being in this situation, but obviously all we can do is try to do the best we can for the last two games," he said. "That's the reality of it now.
"We just need to prepare and get the right squad for next season - that's all we can do to prepare.
"The fans come out and support us every week and we thank them, especially the way it's been lately, to not get the three points for the fans, our friends and family. I'm hoping Alen Stajcic stays around, I see the boys get along with him really well."
While Melling has a year on his contract remaining, entailing a sense of forced optimism to his demeanour, he's seen several key figures depart this season. The two latest, Jonathan Aspropotamitis and Connor Pain to Western United will leave significant holes in the Mariners set-up.
Unfortunately for the Central Coast, their loss appears to be Western Melbourne's gain. Not that Melling will roll over without a fight.
"Very disappointing to see them go but they've got to make the decision for themselves, all the best to them in the future," he said.
"I want to turn it around, I want to be at a successful club and I know it's not that at the moment but I think that it can be. It's just a matter of time, the right players and the right coach.
"It would make it feel more special, being at the bottom, going through the lows, to get to the top would make you believe a lot more. it's a feeling in your stomach that you can't describe.
"I'm hoping for that next year."