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.”

GOLF: Pepperell's riding high after fourth place

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8:52pm Sunday 21st September 2014

ABINGDON’S Eddie Pepperell maintain his impressive form with another superb show, which significantly boosted his hopes of making the prestigious end-of-season World Tour Championship.

MOTORSPORT: Massa is fifth

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Felipe Massa finished fifth for the Grove-based Williams team in today's Singapore Grand Prix.

Oxford Utd 0, Stevenage 0

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5:03pm Saturday 20th September 2014

OXFORD United produced an entertaining display but had to settle for a draw as they were unable to find a way past a dogged Stevenage.

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

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5:49pm Saturday 20th September 2014

Oxford Utd v Stevenage - updates

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1:57pm Saturday 20th September 2014

All the latest new from Oxford United's home game against Stevenage in Sky Bet League Two.

Oxford United Wright issues warning

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9:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

Jake Wright believes it will be key for Oxford United to avoid getting dragged into a physical contest if they are to build on a midweek win when Stevenage visit today.

RUGBY UNION: Welsh form must come first for Tongan Taione

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

TAIONE Vea says he can’t let playing in the World Cup with Tonga distract him from London Welsh’s Aviva Premiership challenge.

CRICKET: Brown set for Uganda trip

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8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts chairman John Brown is gearing up for a cricketing charity trip to Uganda.

CRICKET: Freeman is rewarded for courage

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8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

Banbury's Amy Freeman has won the CMJ Spirit of Cricket Girls’ Award.

RACING: Young charges have Hill excited about the future

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

With a fresh intake of young horses, Lawney Hill is hoping her Aston Rowant stables will continue to flourish as the jumps season prepares to move up a notch.

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