Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting OXFORD NEWS to 80360 or email us
FOOTBALL: Merritt excited by City's future after taking over
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.”
1:18pm Wednesday 20th August 2014
Video highlights of Oxford United's loss to Morecambe last night
9:30am Wednesday 20th August 2014
OXFORD United were left fuming after being denied a late penalty in a 1-0 defeat at Morecambe last night.
9:00am Wednesday 20th August 2014
CHAD Keegan and Karl Penhale were the heroes as Oxfordshire recorded their first win of the Unicorns Counties Championship campaign in their final match after a eight-wicket success over Cheshire at Nantwich CC.
8:00am Wednesday 20th August 2014
Black Prince boasted a trio of six-hitters in their 2-1 home win over Red Lion A Eynsham in Premier/Section 1 of the Greene King Oxford & District League, writes ANDY BEAL.
1:01pm Wednesday 20th August 2014
7:00am Wednesday 20th August 2014
DIDCOT Town fell to an emphatic defeat in Southern League Division 1 South & West last night after losing 3-0 at home to Larkhall Athletic.
6:00am Wednesday 20th August 2014
Westbury appear OCA League Division 1 title favourites after winning their top-of-the-table clash with Great Horwood.
6:00am Wednesday 20th August 2014
Three run outs cost Oxford Downs their second win of the season as their Cherwell League Division 1 match at Banbury 2nd ended in a dramatic tie.
9:55pm Tuesday 19th August 2014
OXFORD United delivered a vastly improved performance, but were left to reflect on a controversial penalty decision which went against them in defeat at Morecambe.
6:58pm Tuesday 19th August 2014
All the latest news from Oxford United's visit to Morecambe in Sky Bet League Two.
Comments are closed on this article.