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

Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

11:59am Monday 20th October 2014

Have your say on the hot topics at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters from noon.

VIDEO: Highlights from Oxford United's win over Tranmere Rovers

Oxford Mail:

10:42am Monday 20th October 2014

OXFORD United bounced back to form with a 2-0 win against Tranmere Rovers at the Kassam Stadium.

On-target Alfie Potter hails dream day as Oxford United regain winning habit + VIDEO

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 20th October 2014

ALFIE Potter hailed a “perfect day” as he came off the bench to score and give Oxford United a much-needed victory over Tranmere Rovers.

Oxford United skipper Jake Wright hails Tareiq Holmes-Dennis debut

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Monday 20th October 2014

JAKE Wright praised the performance of debutant Tareiq Holmes-Dennis in Oxford United’s win over Tranmere Rovers.

London Welsh lose 28-18 at Lyon

Oxford Mail: London Welsh are staying at the Kassam

7:30am Monday 20th October 2014

LONDON Welsh’s search for a first win of the season goes on despite a much-improved showing in their European Rugby Challenge Cup clash in France.

FOOTBALL: Wantage rocked as boss quits

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Monday 20th October 2014

Wantage Town are looking for a new boss after Gary Acking resigned as manager of the the Southern League side.

FOOTBALL: Shot-shy Banbury are well beaten at Chippenham

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

Banbury United slipped to their second Evo-Stik Southern League Premier League defeat in a row following Saturday’s 3-0 drubbing at Chippenham Town.

FOOTBALL: Millers' first-half show makes the difference

Oxford Mail: Morgan Williams netted a double in North Leigh's 7-0 win at Guildford City

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

North Leigh set up an FA Carlsberg first-qualifying round trip to Poole Town after an impressive display in a 2-1 win at Yate Town on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Deadly Mills does it again

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

John Mills scored a five-minute double as Didcot booked a trip to Bideford with victory at Loop Meadow Stadium in Saturday’s preliminary round clash.

FOOTBALL: Ingram's super double puts seal on Ardley recovery

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Monday 20th October 2014

Luke Ingram bagged a brace as Ardley United won 2-1 at Cheltenham Saracens in the first round of the Bluefin Sports Challenge Cup.

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