10:00am Friday 23rd August 2013
By Nick Farrant
Oxford City’s French winger, Adam Maabdi could make his debut at Hednesford Town tomorrow after Tom Winters was ruled out for several weeks through injury.
The former U’s midfielder, who joined from Brackley Town, tweaked a hamstring in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at Solihull Moors.
But while the news is not good for Winters, it could give Lille-born Maabdi his big chance.
The pacy winger, 23, who was on trial at Marsh Lane over the summer, due to the efforts of City’s president, Thomas Guerriero, is added to the squad for the trip to the Midlands after his international clearance arrived.
And Ford said Maabdi, who returned from America where he was on a scholarship at the University of St Francis College in New York, could make his bow.
“Adam’s now available to us. He’s a tenacious player and has a great attitude,” said Ford.
“He generally plays down the left and comes in on his right foot.
“He’s also a quick learner which is good for me as Tom is going to be out for several weeks.”
Although Maabdi, who had spells at AC Cambrai and Saint-Armand in France, is a non-contract player, Ford said he hopes to discuss terms with him next week.
Maabdi’s fellow-French triallist, goalkeeper Victor Francoz, is also available.
Meanwhile, Ford has warned Lee Henderson that he may face a tough battle with Adam Learoyd to get his place back.
The central defender, who signed from Didcot Town in the summer, has slotted in well at the back, but is away for two weeks.
Ford added: “He did brilliantly in pre-season, but he’s off on holiday.
“Unfortunately, he might not get back into the side because Adam (Learoyd) did great for me against Solihull.”
Ford warned Hednesford would be as tough as Solihull where a deflected last-minute goal denied City their first victory of the season.
He said: “My initial reaction was it felt like a defeat, because I felt we should have won.
“But they won 3-0 at Guiseley and I thought we’re off the mark and we passed the ball well.
“Hednesford have also started well, but Solihull were the same and we took the sting out of them.
“We will go out there and be positive.”
Oxford City: Scott, Clifton, Stonehouse, Malone, Learoyd, Willmott, Benjamin, Pond, Basham, Skendi, Symons, Ballard, Green, McNish, Cook, Maabdi.
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