Player Profile: Max Melbourne

Credit Graham Burrell

Name: Max Melbourne

Born: 24 October 1998

Previous Club: West Brom

Contract Expires: June 2022

Lincoln Appearances: 

2019/20: Appearances 9 (2)

2020/21: Appearances 9 (7) 

2021/22 Appearances 5 (as of January 10, 2022)

Courtesy of Graham Burrell

Max Melbourne started his career with| West Brom, captaining their Under 18 side and appearing for them in three EFL Trophy games in the 2017/18 season. His senior debut came against Walsall in a side that also included Alex Palmer, Alex Bradley, Callum Morton and Morgan Rogers. after two more outings in the group stages, he was loaned out to Ross County. He made his debut in a 3-2 defeat at Kilmarnock and played five additional times in the Scottish Premiership before returning to the Hawthorns.

He was rated as a bright spark of the West Brom Under 23 set up by the Birmingham Mail back in 2017, described as able to play in both full-back positions as well as being ‘towering’, which suggest the ability to also play through the centre. Despite that, he was loaned to Scottish Championship side Partick Thistle in 2018/19, but appeared just four times, scoring once in a 5-0 rout of Stranraer.

Credit Graham Burrell

He joined Danny Cowley’s Lincoln on loan in the summer of 2019 as an understudy to Harry Toffolo. His only appearance under Danny was the 3-1 defeat against Doncaster in the EFL Trophy, a week before Huddersfield came calling.

Michael Appleton swiftly handed him his Sincil Bank debut, as a centre back, as City were beaten 1-0 at home by Man Utd U21s in Michael’s first game in charge at home. Two months later, he was a late sub in our 2-0 away win at Burton, which saw him make his long-awaited Football League debut.

Following the sale of Harry Toffolo, Max got his first start for the Imps as we beat Blackpool 1-0 at Sincil Bank, but an injury sustained in the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Rotherham a couple of weeks later ruled him out for a game, and Tayo Edun snatched his place away. He regained it for the final fixture of the season, the 3-2 win against Burton, as Tayo was suspended.

Max struggled to impose himself on the squad in 2020/21, only getting his first league start in November as we drew 0-0 at Accrington. With Tayo Edun preferred at left-back, Max was eventually loaned to Walsall for the remainder of the season in January. He started his Walsall career off with a goal and was told by then-manager Darrell Clarke that he could earn himself a deal to remain at the Bescot, although Clarke later left the club.

Following the completion of his loan spell, he returned to Sincil Bank, but it was revealed in late June 2021 that he had been told he was free to find another club. Despite that blow, he responded well in pre-season, and after injury once again ruled Joe Walsh out of the side, he took his chance. he started the first game of the season, a 1-1 draw with Gillingham, playing the whole 90 minutes.

On August 31 he joined Stevenage on a season-long loan, making 12 appearances, but was recalled by the Imps on January 10, 2022 amidst the growing injury crisis in defence. He scored on his return, earning City a 2-1 win at Plymouth, but it proved to be the final touch of his Imps career, and he left the club upon expiry of his contract.