United loan stopper Long aiming to play for keeps

Oxford United on-loan keeper George Long says he is relishing battling it out with Max Crocombe for the No 1  jersey after the Sheffield United stopper signed a short-term deal

Oxford United on-loan keeper George Long says he is relishing battling it out with Max Crocombe for the No 1 jersey after the Sheffield United stopper signed a short-term deal

First published in Headlines Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

George Long is looking forward to a battle with Max Crocombe to become Oxford United’s first-choice goalkeeper after joining on loan yesterday.

The Sheffield United stopper, who was in the England under 21 squad last season, passed a medical yesterday and will stay at the U’s until the new year.

With Ryan Clarke possibly sidelined until late November following foot surgery, it leaves Long and Crocombe to fight for the jersey over the next fortnight.

The pair are expected to be given 45 minutes each in a behind-closed-doors game against Fulham this weekend.

Long is keen to play, after falling down the pecking order at the League One club last season and is looking forward to contesting the starting place with Crocombe.

“We have both got to push each other in training and see who gets the nod come the start of the season,” he said. “At the back end of last season I was on the bench.

“The manager (Nigel Clough) said he was going to keep it that way, so he wanted me to go out and get games.

“I’m thankful he’s allowed me to do that and come to a great team like Oxford and hopefully get some more minutes under my belt.

“As a young player that’s where you develop, getting experience through first-team games.

“It’s definitely the best option for me at the moment.”

U’s boss Michael Appleton welcomed the increased competition for the place and was delighted with the signing, his second since joining the club.

He said: “George is very highly rated and has been part of the England set-up so we are very excited to have him here.”

The two goalkeepers are both 20 and went to the U-20 World Cup in Turkey last summer.

But while New Zealand-born Crocombe, stuck behind Clarke, has only played four first-team games, Long arrives with more than 70 under his belt.

It would suggest Long is the favourite to start in the season-opener against Burton Albion in two weeks’ time, while the Blades are unlikely to want their player to swap the bench at Bramall Lane for one at the Kassam Stadium.

Clough said: “The lad will only develop further by playing games regularly and it doesn’t matter what level we are talking about.

“He is already a very good goalkeeper, but he will improve further by being exposed to different situations."

Our top stories:

Woman raped in Headington flat

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:24pm Saturday 20th September 2014

A WOMAN was followed into a Headington flat and raped this morning. 

Police manhunt after teenager raped in city centre

Oxford Mail:

11:57am Saturday 20th September 2014

A TEENAGER was raped in central Oxford this morning by a man she met in a nightclub.

Referendum vote gives PM a spring in his step

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

WITNEY MP David Cameron has congratulated the people of Burford for organising a mock “referendum” on the issue of Scottish independence – but has admitted he was more relieved to find out the result of the actual poll.

Oxford United Wright issues warning

Oxford Mail:

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.

It's off - three-day city festival is cancelled

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 20th September 2014

A THREE-day festival set to take place on Oxford’s South Park next weekend has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales and rumours that one of its big name stars had pulled out.

Google wipes search results for 20 people's convictions after just one person's 'Right To Be Forgotten' request

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Saturday 20th September 2014

THE convictions of 20 people have been wiped from Google search results because of a single complaint in the latest controversy caused by a controversial European privacy ruling.

Man hurt in A40 crash

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:40am Saturday 20th September 2014

An 85-year-old man was last night in hospital with back injuries following a crash on the A40 on Thursday.

Cocaine dealer jailed

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

8:40am Saturday 20th September 2014

A man who tried to escape from police carrying £200,000 worth of cocaine in his car has been jailed.

Two women sexually harassed by cyclist

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:40am Saturday 20th September 2014

A cyclist who sexually harassed two women is being hunted by police.

Man missing for days

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

A SEARCH has been launched to find a missing man.

Heavy rain warning

Oxford Mail: May Thunderstorm

8:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

A YELLOW weather warning for rain is in place across the county this morning.

Superstar Annie supports city art event

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

EURYTHMICS star Annie Lennox has given her backing to an Oxford artist’s fundraiser to support an Oxfam project in Niger.

Search for more explosives is continuing

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

A HOUSE in Bicester which was raided by police looking for explosives on Thursday is still being searched by officers.

Man with the special spade is Gravedigger of the Year

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th September 2014

THE man who “made good” the grave in which Didcot schoolgirl Jayden Parkinson was buried by her killer has been named Gravedigger of the Year.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:53pm Sun 27 Jul 14

Benkiu says...

Clearly Long has as first choice, at least initially....
Clearly Long has as first choice, at least initially.... Benkiu
  • Score: 0

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