ATLANTA--The Georgia State men's soccer team and head coach Brett Surrency announced the signing of Conor Acheson and William Mellors-Blair for the 2012 season on Thursday.

Acheson comes to Georgia State from Tipperary, Ireland, and Mellors-Blair hails from Nottingham, England. Both bring with them experience in the midfield and at forward, respectively, from playing in elite soccer leagues in their home countries.

Acheson is a graduate of CBS High School in Clonmel County in Tipperary, Ireland. He is a veteran of several tournaments and leagues in Ireland. He represented Ireland in the 2009 Galway Cup, an elite under age 15 tournament that draws teams from Ireland, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Eastern Europe and Mexico among other countries. Acheson also played for Waterford United in the U19 Airtricity League, the top league for Ireland soccer.

"We are really excited about Conor coming into the program next year," Surrency said, "Conor's versatility is huge for us and we think that he will come in and compete in a number of different spots."

Mellors-Blair was a member of the youth setup of the Walsall Football Club from 2003-11. The creative midfielder was a youth trainee his final two years with Walsall FC in the team's development league.  Mellors-Blair attended the Nottingham Bluecoat School and Technology College in Nottingham, England.

"Will is going to be a very exciting player for us at GSU," Surrency said, "He brings a tremendous amount of pace and athleticism that should mesh quickly with our current group of attacking players."

With the spring exhibition season under way, Georgia State is making initial preparations for the 2012 fall season. The Panthers return nine starters from the team that took the field in a 1-0 loss at No. 24 Duke in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. GSU went 13-8-1 last year and earned its first ever at-large selection to the tournament.

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