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.”
1:56pm Saturday 13th February 2016
All the news from Oxford United's Sky Bet League Two clash at Morecambe.
9:30am Saturday 13th February 2016
JOE Skarz is calling on Oxford United to prove their worth and get back on track against Morecambe this afternoon.
8:30am Saturday 13th February 2016
CHRIS Allen insists Sam Slocombe will be determined to make amends if he is selected to face Morecambe today (3).
7:30am Saturday 13th February 2016
LOTTIE Wynne-Jones picked up five titles in the third round of the Oxfordshire & North Bucks County Championships at Aylesbury.
7:30am Saturday 13th February 2016
OXFORD A retained their senior title in the Oxfordshire Inter-League competition at South Moreton Primary School.
7:20am Saturday 13th February 2016
FIELDSIDE went top of the Gentworks Oxford & District League Division 1 table with a 3-0 home win over Cowley Workers.
7:10am Saturday 13th February 2016
ABINGDON Conservative Club A swept aside Oracle F 4-1 to lift the Gentworks Oxford & District League’s Simonds Cup.
6:50am Saturday 13th February 2016
ELLIOT Harvey set up a title-decider in the Trent Valley Karting Club’s Winter Championship with third place at Brandon.
6:40am Saturday 13th February 2016
ALAN Campbell secured his first victory of the season when he won Littlemore AS’s Keith Mills Cup by a handy margin.
11:00am Friday 12th February 2016
IF there is one lesson Oxford United have learned from Tuesday night’s draw with Mansfield Town, it is that there is no need to man the panic stations.