Clarke backs Crocombe to show safe pair of hands

Max Crocombe is likely to start the forthcoming    campaign in goal for United as Ryan Clarke recovers from a foot operation

Max Crocombe is likely to start the forthcoming campaign in goal for United as Ryan Clarke recovers from a foot operation

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

Ryan Clarke believes Oxford United will be in safe hands while he recovers from a foot operation as Max Crocombe prepares for a run in the side.

The surgery means the 32-year-old goalkeeper will be on the sidelines when the squad regroup for the first time later this week for fitness tests.

Clarke is expected to miss pre-season and could be on the sidelines for the first month of the new Sky Bet League Two campaign.

While U’s boss Gary Waddock will closely watch how Clarke’s recovery progresses, if a loan keeper is required for the opening games, it will be as a back-up to Crocombe.

The New Zealander, who turns 21 in the opening week of the season, has had to be patient.

After keeping three successive clean sheets at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, he did not play a minute of first-team football last season as Clarke excelled.

But United’s No 1 has the utmost confidence in his teammate.

Clarke said: “Max has got all the attributes to be a top keeper.

“He’s at an age now where he needs to be tested in pressure situations.

“It’s a good chance for him and he’s highly rated here.

“I hope he does brilliantly if he’s given the chance, because we want the club to have a good start.

“He’s been great for me since he’s come through.

“At the same time I will be looking to get fit, but I won’t take it for granted that I will get my place back.”

When it became clear last month the U’s No 1 needed an operation, Waddock quickly made it clear Crocombe, who played at the Under 20 World Cup for the Junior All Whites last summer, would fill the gap.

Clarke thinks his understudy would benefit from both the advance warning and the prospect of a prolonged run in the side.

He said: “If the manager has told him I think that’s a good situation for Max.

“It will be good for him to get his head round and he can fully concentrate on getting right for pre-season.

“It will give him a boost.”

OAPs rescued in Lower Heyford fire

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire fire and rescue logo

7:40am Wednesday 26th November 2014

A neighbour helped to rescue two elderly women after a tumble dryer caught fire in Lower Heyford.

Oxford inequality panel meets

Oxford Mail: oxford city council logo

7:40am Wednesday 26th November 2014

A new panel designed to tackle growing inequality in Oxford met for the first time on Monday.

Mother of GBH victim Robbie Hughes complains to police over PCs' business deal with attacker

Oxford Mail: Robbie Hughes

7:40am Wednesday 26th November 2014

The mother of a former Oxford United player left with brain damage has complained to the Metropolitan Police after two serving officers went into business with one of his attackers, it has been reported.

‘Priceless’ motorbike stolen from former Oxford speedway star

Oxford Mail:

7:40am Wednesday 26th November 2014

A FORMER Oxford Cheetahs speedway racer has said he is “gutted” after the theft of a priceless motorbike and another from his garage.

Controversial gravel extraction plan for Oxfordshire is approved

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7:10am Wednesday 26th November 2014

A controversial new draft gravel extraction strategy for Oxfordshire was narrowly approved last night.

Decision over Abingdon pedestrian crossings plan is postponed

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7:10am Wednesday 26th November 2014

A decision on whether to allow or reject two pedestrian crossings on which a housing estate could be determined was postponed to December.

Oxfordshire county councillors split over meetings’ effectiveness

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THE majority of Oxfordshire county councillors do not believe council meetings are an effective way of discussing business.

Joint schools administration proposal for Oxfordshire is abandoned

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014

A PLAN to ask Hampshire County Council to help run Oxfordshire schools has been abandoned.

Call for inquiry as ambulance responds after 72 minutes to injured cyclist in East Oxford

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7:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014

A CYCLIST injured in a crash had to wait more than an hour for an ambulance to reach him in an East Oxford street.

Normandy Crescent flood victims hit out over meeting delay

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6:40am Wednesday 26th November 2014

FLOOD-hit families have hit out at Thames Water after learning that a promised meeting will not take place this year.

Extra holidays offer to boost the number of foster parents in Oxfordshire

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014

EXTRA holidays for council employees who foster children have been agreed amid concerns about a rise in the number of youngsters in care.

Oxford Preservation Trust takes a grave view of Green Belt cemetery plans near Horspath

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014

A GROUP that gave Green Belt land to Oxford City Council as long as it was not developed has hit out at plans to use it for a cemetery.

Speed limit to be cut to 50mph along stretch of A34 from December 1

Oxford Mail: A34 traffic alert

5:10pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

THE speed limit on a stretch of the A34 will be cut to 50mph for six months to allow drainage work to be carried out.

Colourful theme for fundraiser’s funeral

Oxford Mail:

5:00pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

A MUSCULAR dystrophy sufferer who raised funds in the fight against the disease has died aged 27.

Oxford United hope for Roberts return inside a month

Oxford Mail:

12:34pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

JAMES Roberts could return to Oxford United action in three or four weeks after his hamstring injury was found to be less serious than initially feared.

Michael Appleton aiming to loan out Oxford United players

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Michael Appleton is keen to loan out a couple of senior Oxford United players before the window closes on Thursday.

VIDEO: Highlights and reaction from Oxford United's draw with AFC Wimbledon

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Monday 24th November 2014

OXFORD United were unable to break down a well-organised AFC Wimbledon side during their goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

10:43am Monday 24th November 2014

Explore your way around our interactive back page - eight links for your best local sports coverage, including our Oxford United match picture gallery. And there's video highlights from U's clash with AFC Wimbledon as well..

Alfie Potter hoping injury to James Roberts is not too serious

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 24th November 2014

ALFIE Potter admitted it was a big blow for everyone at Oxford United to see James Roberts limp off on Saturday.

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