FOOTBALL: City boss Merritt putting faith in Spanish imports

Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt (right) and head coach Enrique Guillen

Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt (right) and head coach Enrique Guillen

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Non League Football. Call me on 01865 425488

Oxford City’s general manager Justin Merrit is hoping that a mixture of experience and Spanish flair will help fire them to success in the new season.

Over the summer, Merritt and head coach Enrique Guillen have brought in a number of new signings including four Spanish imports, centre back Alejandro Adrian, from Real Betis B, former Zalla Union Club defender Josetxo Lapoujade Garde, ex-Zamora CF midfielder Javier Rodriguez Mendez and Ander del Alamo (Club Deportivo Laudio).

The quartet have signed contracts with the Marsh Lane outfit, who start their campaign with a trip to newly-relegated Hyde United tomorrow.

Closer to home, they have also brought in former Burton Albion striker Adi Yussuf and ex-Reading FC scholar Ben Brown.

Combative midfielder Liam Malone has re-joined from North Leigh, while striker Felipe Barcelos is back from playing in Italy and Kynan Isaac has returned from Banbury United, though he misses the trip to Cheshire as he is having a trial at Luton Town.

“We have extended our search to Spain for certain players that we wouldn’t necessarily find here,” said Merritt.

“The economy over there is not so good, so you can get better value for your money in terms of wages.

“We will see how it goes because there is always a question of how they will adapt.

“Because there’s a bit of merry-go-round locally, it’s difficult to get the better players.

“Wages have gone through the roof and we can’t compete with some of the other clubs in our division, so we have looked at it another way.”

But Merritt, who took over in May following the departure of Mike Ford, said patience was going to be required.

“I’m happy with the progress that has been made,” he said.

“I think it will take a fair amount of time before people notice a difference in the way we play.

“We want to get everyone to buy into what we are trying to do.

“We’re looking for an improvement on the position they finished last season. We don’t want a relegation fight.

“I don’t want to start saying things like we are going to finish in the top-six.

“Our job is to get a better product on the pitch.

“But it won’t happen overnight.”

IN: Lapoujade (Osasuna B), Brown (QPR), Adrian (Real Union), Malone (North Leigh), Del Alamo (CD Laudio), Barcelos (ASD Santhià Calcio), Isaac (Banbury Utd), Wilson (Bishops Stortford), Rodriquez (Zamora CF), Yussuf (Lincoln), Acha (unattached).

OUT: Adam Learoyd (Didcot Tn).

  •  Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Latest Sport news

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's win against Cambridge United

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

3:03pm Sunday 26th April 2015

WATCH the best moments as Oxford United signed off at the Kassam Stadium with a comfortable 2-0 win against Cambridge United.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Cambridge?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:53pm Saturday 25th April 2015

Oxford Utd 2 (Roofe 31, Hylton 45+8), Cambridge Utd 0

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:02pm Saturday 25th April 2015

GOALS from Kemar Roofe and Danny Hylton saw Oxford United win their final home game of the season at a canter against Cambridge United.

Oxford United v Cambridge United - updates

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

1:57pm Saturday 25th April 2015

All the latest news from Oxford United's final home game of the season, against Cambridge United.

Collins eager to avenge Oxford United's 5-1 defeat by Cambridge United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

Michael Collins expects a reminder of Oxford United’s heavy defeat at Cambridge United earlier in the season will be pinned up in the changing room to act as motivation ahead of their rematch today.

Minute's silence at Bradford so poignant for Oxford United skipper Wright

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

A minute's silence will be held at Oxford United before kick-off this afternoon to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City fire.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh coach Ollie Smith aware of big threat from former club Leicester Tigers

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

IT is never a good time to play Leicester Tigers, according to assistant coach Ollie Smith as London Welsh travel to Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership today (3).

RUGBY UNION: Upbeat Olly Barkley optimistic for Welford Road tester

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

OLLY Barkley believes London Welsh head to Leicester Tigers today off the back of the best week of training this season.

RUGBY UNION: Chris Elder remains level-headed as London Welsh bring in trio

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 25th April 2015

CHRIS Elder says London Welsh cannot take promotion back to the Aviva Premiership for granted next season.

SWIMMING: Superb Oxford land seven golds in a stunning display

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Saturday 25th April 2015

CITY of Oxford won seven gold medals at the Ealing Short Course Open in London.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree