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.”
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.”
12:00pm Sunday 4th October 2015
SEE the key moments as Oxford United won for the second time on the road in the space of five days with a 3-1 success at Accrington Stanley.
4:57pm Saturday 3rd October 2015
LIAM Sercombe scored twice in the final 11 minutes to give Oxford United their second away victory in five days.
6:08pm Saturday 3rd October 2015
1:56pm Saturday 3rd October 2015
All the news from Oxford United's trip to Accrington Stanley in Sky Bet League Two.
9:30am Saturday 3rd October 2015
DANNY Hylton says Oxford United need to ignore the unique challenges posed by a trip to Accrington Stanley if they are to secure back-to-back wins on the road.
8:20am Saturday 3rd October 2015
OXFORD United could name the same starting line-up for the fourth game in a row at in-form Accrington Stanley.
8:00am Saturday 3rd October 2015
THAME’S promotion to the Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League has been approved.
7:20am Saturday 3rd October 2015
SEAN Walkinshaw is targeting silverware on his first visit to Misano this weekend in the penultimate round of the Blancpain Sprint Series.
6:40am Saturday 3rd October 2015
TOM Avery returns as Oxford City Stars host Solent Devils in English National League South Division 1 tomorrow (6.15).
6:20am Saturday 3rd October 2015
ELLIE Broome won bronze for Kidlington & Gosford at the Nuneaton Open meet.