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FOOTBALL: Oxford City chief aiming high for next season

City president Thomas Guerriero

City president Thomas Guerriero

First published in Sport

OXFORD City president Thomas Guerriero has backed the club’s new management team to be a big success – expecting next season to be “something special”.

The American businessman was behind the decision to sack Mike Ford and appoint Enrique Guillen as the club’s new head coach with Justin Merritt in a newly-created general manager role.

Guerriero believes the move will help turn around the club’s fortunes after City narrowly avoided relegation from Conference North last season.

“It’s just a change in the way we’re thinking,” he said.

“Our entire focus is to have the most talented and driven individuals that are possible out there to become a part of what we’re doing. “Mike’s been a great help for the club for many years, but we’ve got aspirations to achieve great things.

“We needed to move in a new direction.”

Gullien was the coach of the Oxford Lions Futsal team, before joining Ford’s coaching staff midway through last season.

And Guerriero is expecting big things.

“We’re very excited about Enrique taking charge,” he added.

“We have all the confidence in the world we will be able to do something special next sea-son.

“He will be someone who does something phenomenal.” Despite finishing third from bottom last season, Guerriero is looking to be challenging at the other end of the table next season.

“Every season it should be the goal to get promoted – why compete just to exist?” he said.

“You compete to win, not just to be middle of the table. That’s the whole purpose about what makes sport so great.”

Guerriero is still hoping to install a new 3G pitch at the club’s Marsh Lane ground, with the league saying they are likely to discuss the possibility of approving such playing surfaces at their half-yearly EGM in January.

“The artificial pitch would allow the kids to play on our home ground in the morning before the senior teams later in the day, so we have a whole of day of events showing what Oxford City is all about,” he commented.

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