FOOTBALL: Merritt excited by City's future after taking over

Justin Merritt, Oxford City's new general manager

Justin Merritt, Oxford City's new general manager

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

Justin Merritt is predicting exciting times lie ahead for Oxford City after he was appointed as the club’s general manager.

Merritt, 39, was previously in charge of City and helped them to promotion via the play-offs to the Southern League Premier Division, before resigning two games into the 2009-10 campaign to concentrate on his business interests.

But Merritt, who has also managed Witney Town, said he had no hesitation in taking on a new role at City, which will see him work with Enrique Guillen, who has been promoted to head coach.

The Spaniard previously coached under previous manager Mike Ford, who was sacked last month.

“Enrique will be running the team and I will be supporting him with ideas and player recruitment,” said Merritt.

“But he will be working primarily with the players.

“We’ll be working together – he’s a very enthusiastic guy. He coaches our futsal team and is also a coach at Oxford United’s Centre of Excellence.

“I understand you can’t transfer everything from futsal across to the 11-a-side game, but we may bring it in as part of our training.

“We want to bring an exciting, attacking brand of football to the club, but we’re not unrealistic – we want to be successful in the league, so you have to get the balance right.”

Oxford Mail:

Enrique Guillen joins Justin Merritt in Oxford City’s management team

He added: “Some people may have wished for someone who has managed at a higher level, but I feel I have enough knowledge and enthusiasm to achieve what we want.

“I have been out of football for a while and have had a rest, but I’ve got some ideas and I have also been working in the industry as a FA educator.

“I feel I have learned a lot and have matured as a person.

“The role is not directly being the manager. I’m going to have a more analytical role.”

Asked about the club’s ambitions for next season, he added: “I think (a promotion bid) is a very difficult one to call, it depends on how strong the other teams are in the league.

“The benchmark for City will be an improvement on last year and to develop a style that will encourage people to come and watch us at Court Place Farm.”

Merritt emphasised that while Ford was no longer boss, he still had a vital role to play.

“I’ve been talking to Mike and he’s been able to advise me on how the players that were here did last season,” he added.

“We want to carry on the work that Mike did here. He did a good job, but the club felt it was time to freshen it up at the top.”

Oxford United foiled on deadline day

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Appleton is determined to do his shopping earlier next summer after Oxford United were unable to land their top target before the transfer window shut last night.

Raynes sets sights on return in trophy tie

Oxford Mail: Michael Raynes is one of four U’s players to grow their hair to raise money for charity

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Raynes is among the Oxford United players hoping to benefit from a run-out in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Cheltenham Town tonight (7.45).

DARTS: Maximum men lead the way

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

IN a week of high-scoring, 20 players recorded maximums in the Men’s Summer League, with five of them doing it twice.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Oxford sting Scorpions with last-minute winner

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

KINGSTONE PRESS CHAMPIONSHIP ONE

CRICKET: Vaughan is star turn for Cherwell dinner

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Michael Vaughan, who captained England to their 2005 Ashes triumph, will be the guest speaker at the Cherwell League’s 40th anniversary presentation dinner at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium on Saturday, October 18.

FOOTBALL: United sunk by Wiltshire treble

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

FA WOMEN’S SUPER LEAGUE 2

PARALYMPIC SPORT: Tipton turns it around to see Britain home

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Anna Tipton, from Didcot, was Britain’s hero as they came from behind to beat Belgium in their goalball international on Saturday, writes STUART WEIR.

DARTS: New-look facing long trip in opener

Oxford Mail: Preben Krabben had a 12-dart finish

7:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

Oxfordshire, who were relegated from the Premier Division last season, start their Division 1 campaign with a long trip to take on County Durham this weekend.

HOCKEY: Battling Hawks piped twice

Oxford Mail: hockey - field

6:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

OXFORD Hawks ladies were narrowly beaten in friendlies with National League sides Slough and East Grinstead.

GOLF: Hole-in-one double joy

Oxford Mail: golf generic

6:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014

The 16th hole at North Oxford saw two aces last week.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

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