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

8:00am Tuesday 20th May 2014

By Nick Farrant

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.”

COMMONWEALTH GAMES: It's Rivers of gold for Dan

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9:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Shooter Dan Rivers said it was an amazing feeling to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal at Glasgow 2014.

Appleton's closing in on striker for Oxford United

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8:50am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Michael Appleton says Oxford United are “super close” to signing a striker to boost a side which lacked a cutting edge in a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves last night.

FOOTBALL: City beaten at Ardley

Oxford Mail: Callum Convey scored Ardley United's winner in their 1-0 success at Ascot United on Tuesday

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Oxford City slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Ardley United in their penultimate friendly before the new season gets under way.

RACING: Longsdon's double bid

Oxford Mail: Charlie Longsdon

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon is double-handed in the thetote.com Galway Plate (5.30) at the Irish track today with Vulcanite and Grandads Horse.

RACING: Charlie in action again

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Charlie Wells, the horse trained by Eve Johnson Houghton at Blewbury, near Didcot, who tested positive for morphine, runs in the 7.15 at Ffos Las tomorrow.

AUNT SALLY: Title race thrown open as Six Bells falter

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Wednesday 30th July 2014

THE battle for the Premier Section crown is alive after leaders Six Bells C lost for the second match in succession, writes ANDY BEAL.

Commonwealth Games: England pays price for lack of finishing power

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

HANNAH England admitted she did not have enough finishing speed after fading to seventh place in the 1500m final last night.

Commonwealth Games: Fox frustrated as hockey team lose

Oxford Mail: hockey - field

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

DAN Fox was left frustrated as England’s men’s hockey team lost 2-1 to New Zealand.

CRICKET: Ayaz's nine-wicket blitz crushes Minster

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Cowley Internationals’ bowler Ayaz Khan nearly took all ten for a second time when he bagged a nine-wicket haul in their 65 win at Minster Lovell in OCA League Division 1.

Commonwealth Games: Watson aiming to lift crown

Oxford Mail: Ben Watson just missed out on a place in 2010

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

BEN Watson will look to convert his English title into a Commonwealth Games medal tonight.

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