MARK Jones is excited by the opportunity to manage Oxford City after being placed in charge on a caretaker basis.

He will take charge of City’s first team in Vanarama National League South. allowing general manager Justin Merritt to focus on off-field matters.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to manage at this level and work with a good group of players,” said Jones.

“It’s been a good learning experience working under Justin for the last couple of years and I’m looking forward to working with him closely in this new role.”

Having made 157 appearances as a player for City between 1996 and 2008, Jones joined Merritt’s coaching staff in October 2014.

Merritt, whose role as general manager will now principally be behind the scenes, believes Jones is the ideal replacement.

He said: “Mark’s attitude, his application and his work ethic make him perfectly suited to the role.

“He’s been a colleague of mine for a long time and he deserves to have a go at it.

“He knows the club and he knows the players and I’m sure he’ll do well.”