North Leigh have boosted their Southern League campaign by signing former Bolton Wanderers and Aberdeen striker Michael Bird.
Bird, 30, started his career at the north west club before an impressive trial took him to Scottish Premier League side Dons on a free transfer.
After two appearances for the Dons, he had spells at Glenavon in Northern Ireland, Northwich Victoria, Witton Albion, Caernarfon Town and Warrington Town.
Bird was coaching at Blackpool’s centre of excellence before a job change took him south.
Millers’ boss Mark Gee has also recuited former Swindon keeper Matt Bulman, ex-Southampton youngster Callum McNish, and Conor Ingram, who was released by Oxford United where he was a second-year trainee.
Bulman, 27, is a highly experienced keeper who also had spells at Salisbury City, Forest Green Rovers, Swindon Supermarine and Cirencester before switching to Oxford City last season.
McNish, 22, started his career at the Saints, before joining Exeter City.
He signed for Braintree Town and had a spell at Basingstoke Town before switching to City.
Left-sided defender Matt Woodley, the younger brother of U’s forward Aaron, has re-joined Didcot Town where he spent some of last season.
Most of last season’s squad have re-signed for the new campaign, namely Brian Bowles, Jon Else, Scott Gee, Andy Gunn, Stuart Hole, Michael Hopkins, Elliott Osborne-Ricketts, Kieran Sanders, Wayne Turk, Zak Westlake and Morgan Williams.
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Some of the county’s brightest young sporting talents are looking for glory in Manchester as they compete in the Sainsbury’s School Games, which get under way today.
More than 1,600 school-age athletes from around the country will descend on Manchester for the four-day multi-sport event – 15 of whom will be looking to bring a medalback to Oxfordshire.
Six of those will be competing in hockey, with Jona Boender (Abingdon), Niall Devaney (Oxford), Finn Dunleavy (Woodstock), Louisa Heathcote (Banbury) and Storm Sunderland (Deddington) all representing England sides, while Witney’s James Palmer has been selected for Wales.
Bloxham School pupil Heathcote, who is 17, will be representing England Girls White.
She is relishing the chance to shine saying: “I’m so happy to have been selected.
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Four Oxfordshire youngsters will be competing in athletics, which takes place tomorrow at the 6,500-capacity Manchester Regional Arena.
Luisa Chantler-Edmond (Headington), Emily Thompson (Banbury), Sam Way (Chipping Norton) and Ryan Craze (Didcot) have been selected to represent the Midlands.
Bicester duo Kieran Bird and Thomas Thornley and Faringdon’s Emily Nesbit will all represent England East in swimming.
Bicester Blue Fins swimmer Thornley, 15, said: “I feel very privileged to have been asked to compete in the Sainsbury’s School Games.
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“I can’t wait to get there!”
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