Kettlewell backs Mullin to savour top-flight chance with Staggies

Ross County's Josh Mullin parades the trophy at full-time
Ross County's Josh Mullin parades the trophy at full-time

Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell is confident winger Josh Mullin will make his long-awaited mark in the Premiership after signing a new contract with the Staggies.

Mullin, who still had a year of his existing deal to run, yesterday signed a 12-month extension which will keep him at Victoria Park until 2021.

The 26-year-old was a pivotal part of the Staggies’ side which clinched the Championship title last season, after opting to turn down the chance to step up to the top-flight with Livingston following their promotion last year.

Although previously on the books of both Celtic and Rangers as a youth player, Mullin stepped down to junior football with Pollok and Kilbirnie Laeside before earning his SPFL opportunity with Albion Rovers in League 2 in 2014.

Following four promotions in the space of five seasons, Kettlewell feels Mullin has earned a shot at top-flight football.

Kettlewell, who began his career as a midfielder with Queen’s Park before stepping up to the top-flight with the Staggies aged 28 in 2012, said: “It’s a big season for Josh. He’s never played in the Premiership before.

“He’s had progression in his career, coming from junior football to Albion Rovers and then Livingston.

“Now we would like to think we can give him a good platform to showcase his talent in the Premiership.

“Everybody wants to play at the highest level. Josh will have that opportunity with us next season, and we are pretty certain that he can have an impact.

“When I relate it to my own pathway in my career it was similar, starting from the bottom division and then progressing through.

“I know how I felt myself when I was in my mid-20s and I got the chance to pitch myself against the best players in the country at the best stadiums.

“If you haven’t had certain opportunities, and doors haven’t opened for you when you were younger, it shows a terrific attitude to continually try and improve and make an impact at whatever level you are playing.

“Josh is testament to that way of thinking.”

Mullin had reportedly caught the eye of a number of Premiership clubs, along with Polish outfit Legia Warsaw, following a debut season in which he netted 14 goals and made 21 assists, however Kettlewell is thrilled he sees Dingwall as the best place to be.

He added: “I would expect there to be interest in somebody like Josh with the type of season he had – myself and Steven have said that directly.

“We understand every player does have a value, and will be available at the right cost. When you are at a club like Ross County, that’s a given.

“We want to keep hold of guys that have done well for us and we feel that continuity and consistency will be pivotal.

“We’re delighted Josh sees it the same way.”