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.”

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh fall just short despite second-half revival

Oxford Mail:

9:59pm Sunday 25th January 2015

London Welsh were left wondering what might have been as they came the closest they have all season to a victory against Lyon, but a late fightback proved too little too late, writes SIMON WILLIAMS.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Exeter City?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:55pm Saturday 24th January 2015

Oxford Utd 2 (Hylton 18, Roberts 90+2), Exeter City 2 (Davies 37, Nicholls 87)

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:01pm Saturday 24th January 2015

JAMES Roberts struck a stoppage-time equaliser as Oxford United stopped the rot with a draw at home to Exeter City.

Oxford United sign full back Joe Skarz

Oxford Mail:

2:50pm Saturday 24th January 2015

OXFORD United have made their first addition of the January transfer window by signing Joe Skarz.

Oxford Utd v Exeter City - updates

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

2:01pm Saturday 24th January 2015

All the news from Oxford United's Sky Bet League Two clash with Exeter City at the Kassam Stadium.

Johnny Mullins backing Oxford United's quality

Oxford Mail: Johnny Mullins

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Johnny Mullins says Oxford United’s squad have the quality to get themselves out of trouble even without help from new signings.

TABLE TENNIS: Holton B fight back to record tight win

Oxford Mail: table tennis bat and ball close up for sport

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Holton B made it two wins out of two in the Oxford & District League’s Aubrey Hughes Handicap Shield.

GOLF: Eddie Pepperell and Joe Pepperell have day to savour

Oxford Mail: Eddie Pepperell salutes the crowd at Malmo this weekend

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

The Pepperell family had a day to remember yesterday, writes MARK EDWARDS.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh coach Justin Burnell backing his side to repay vote of confidence

Oxford Mail: London Welsh Justin Burnell, a former coach and player at Pontypridd

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Head coach Justin Burnell believes the vote of confidence he has given his London Welsh side by naming the same starting line-up to face Lyon at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium tomorrow (2.30) will reap rewards.

DARTS: 'Jabba' Caven is on show in Didcot

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

World No 19 Jamie ‘Jabba’ Caven will give an exhibition at GWRSA Club, Station Road, Didcot, tonight. For tickets, call John Fowler (07958 033638) or Martyn Gardiner (07474 880680).

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