FOOTBALL: Merritt excited by City's future after taking over

Justin Merritt, Oxford City's new general manager

Justin Merritt, Oxford City's new general manager

First published in Headlines Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Non League Football. Call me on 01865 425488

Justin Merritt is predicting exciting times lie ahead for Oxford City after he was appointed as the club’s general manager.

Merritt, 39, was previously in charge of City and helped them to promotion via the play-offs to the Southern League Premier Division, before resigning two games into the 2009-10 campaign to concentrate on his business interests.

But Merritt, who has also managed Witney Town, said he had no hesitation in taking on a new role at City, which will see him work with Enrique Guillen, who has been promoted to head coach.

The Spaniard previously coached under previous manager Mike Ford, who was sacked last month.

“Enrique will be running the team and I will be supporting him with ideas and player recruitment,” said Merritt.

“But he will be working primarily with the players.

“We’ll be working together – he’s a very enthusiastic guy. He coaches our futsal team and is also a coach at Oxford United’s Centre of Excellence.

“I understand you can’t transfer everything from futsal across to the 11-a-side game, but we may bring it in as part of our training.

“We want to bring an exciting, attacking brand of football to the club, but we’re not unrealistic – we want to be successful in the league, so you have to get the balance right.”

Oxford Mail:

Enrique Guillen joins Justin Merritt in Oxford City’s management team

He added: “Some people may have wished for someone who has managed at a higher level, but I feel I have enough knowledge and enthusiasm to achieve what we want.

“I have been out of football for a while and have had a rest, but I’ve got some ideas and I have also been working in the industry as a FA educator.

“I feel I have learned a lot and have matured as a person.

“The role is not directly being the manager. I’m going to have a more analytical role.”

Asked about the club’s ambitions for next season, he added: “I think (a promotion bid) is a very difficult one to call, it depends on how strong the other teams are in the league.

“The benchmark for City will be an improvement on last year and to develop a style that will encourage people to come and watch us at Court Place Farm.”

Merritt emphasised that while Ford was no longer boss, he still had a vital role to play.

“I’ve been talking to Mike and he’s been able to advise me on how the players that were here did last season,” he added.

“We want to carry on the work that Mike did here. He did a good job, but the club felt it was time to freshen it up at the top.”

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.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

12:04pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

Check out what is in our interactive back page today...

OTHER SPORT: Janette Cardy driven on by awards

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Janette Cardy was inspired to make a remarkable recovery from a career-threatening stroke by the prospect of returning to the Oxfordshire Sports Awards, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

RUGBY UNION: Titans toppled as Chinnor leave it late

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

NATIONAL 2 SOUTH

RACING: Harry Whittington celebrates with Arzal victory

Oxford Mail: Harry Whittington

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Harry Whittington, who trains at Sparsholt, near Wantage, celebrated his 34th birthday by saddling Arzal to upset hot favourite West Wizard at Kempton yesterday.

RUGBY UNION: Quins are thrashed by leaders

Oxford Mail: Oxford Harlequins full back Jack Robinson races through for one of his six tries during the 79-7 hammering of Swindon that sent Quins top

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

NATIONAL 3 SOUTH WEST

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.

RUGBY UNION: Heathcote's Blues hope

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

FRASER Heathcote will get a late chance to push for Varsity Match selection when Oxford University host Loughborough University at Iffley Road tonight (7.30).

GOLF: Latest results

Oxford Mail: golf generic

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

NORTH OXFORD

FOOTBALL: Abingdon are given incentive

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Abingdon United will entertain Hassocks or Ashford United in the FA Vase third round, if they win tomorrow’s replay at Littlehampton Town.

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