Didcot Town joint manager Ian Concannon is targeting a play-off challenge.
They have brought in a number of impressive signings as they look to build on last term’s form, starting with tomorrow’s Southern League Division 1 South & West visit of Swindon Supermarine.
The Railwaymen include goal-machine Ryan Brooks, from Ardley United, midfielders Matt Clark (ex-North Leigh) and Luke Abrahart from Thatcham Town, plus defender Adam Learoyd from Oxford City.
Preparations have been hampered by an injury list which includes Brooks (hamstring) and Josh Dutton-Black (ankle), who are injury doubts.
“We want to carry on the momentum from last season,” said Concannon.
“We had a good run in and didn’t want the season to end.
“When we were safe from relegation, we were determined not to let the season fizzle out. People were either playing to stay in the team or trying to get into the team.
“This time we want to be right up there, pushing for the play-offs.”
IN: Brooks (Ardley), Learoyd (Oxford City), Abrahart (Swindon Supermarine), Clark (North Leigh), Self (Oxford City), Organ (North Leigh).
OUT: M Woodley (North Leigh), Ollie Thomas (Milton Utd).
North Leigh boss Mark Gee is hoping that getting his players back early for pre-season training will pay off, starting with tomorrow’s visit of Mangotsfield.
Gee, in his 15th season at Eynsham Park, is hoping the early start will give his side the upper hand.
“We got them in before the end of June,” said Gee. “It’s not like when I was a player – now you have gyms where they can keep themselves fit.
“That means when the players come back, we can work on tactics and team shape straight away.”
Gee deliberately made his signings early on, bringing in the former Oxford City duo of keeper Matt Bulman and midfielder Callum McNish, ex-U’s youngster Conor Ingram and former Aberdeen and Bolton striker Michael Bird.
Gee is looking at another play-off tilt. He added: “That’s the aim.”
IN: Bird (unattached), Bulman, McNish (both Oxford City), C Ingram (Oxford Utd), M Woodley (Didcot T).
OUT: Malone (Oxford City), Bell (Chesham Utd).
Didcot Tn (v Supermarine, home): Foster, A Williams, Elkins, Carnell, Learoyd, Organ, Whitehead, Baines, Clark, Self, L Williams, Mills, Parish, McKirnan, Bernasconi, Abrahart.
North Leigh (v Mangotsfield, home): from Bulman, Westlake, Hole, Gunn, M Woodley, McNish, Osborne-Ricketts, A Woodley, Sanders, Williams, Bowles, Eadle, C Ingram, Caton.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest Sport news
2:00pm Friday 27th February 2015
While Gary Waddock’s time in charge at Oxford United was brief, it produced one clear benefit which has helped the side this season.
1:00pm Friday 27th February 2015
NO further contract talks are expected at Oxford United until the club’s Football League status is secured.
12:04pm Friday 27th February 2015
Oxfordshire trainers Charlie Longsdon and Lawney Hill are among the panel at a Cheltenham Festival preview evening at Middleton Cheney Sports & Social Club next Thursday (7pm).
12:00pm Friday 27th February 2015
Oxford United travel to Portsmouth today - catch up on all our preview stories and video of the first league meeting between the sides
11:00am Friday 27th February 2015
GARY Waddock says he feels no bitterness towards Oxford United as he prepares to face the club for the first time since being sacked last summer.
10:52am Friday 27th February 2015
Lonodon Welsh's New Zealand World Cup winning scrum half Piri Weepu has quit London Welsh to join Aviva Premiership rivals Wasps until the end of the season.
9:20am Friday 27th February 2015
MICHAEL Appleton says there is no better place for Oxford United to win this season than Fratton Park – and it has nothing to do with his links to Portsmouth.
9:00am Friday 27th February 2015
Director of rugby Matt Williams is regretting an oversight that has cost Chinnor a place in the Oxfordshire Cup final.
9:00am Friday 27th February 2015
THERE have been plenty of changes at Oxford United since they visited Fratton Park last season, but few players have undergone a more dramatic change of status in the 18-month gap than Callum O’Dowda.
8:10am Friday 27th February 2015
DANNY Hylton says he has found a system this season which is helping him take penalties with confidence.