FOOTBALL: City boss Merritt putting faith in Spanish imports

Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt (right) and head coach Enrique Guillen

Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt (right) and head coach Enrique Guillen

First published in Non League Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Non League Football. Call me on 01865 425488

Oxford City’s general manager Justin Merrit is hoping that a mixture of experience and Spanish flair will help fire them to success in the new season.

Over the summer, Merritt and head coach Enrique Guillen have brought in a number of new signings including four Spanish imports, centre back Alejandro Adrian, from Real Betis B, former Zalla Union Club defender Josetxo Lapoujade Garde, ex-Zamora CF midfielder Javier Rodriguez Mendez and Ander del Alamo (Club Deportivo Laudio).

The quartet have signed contracts with the Marsh Lane outfit, who start their campaign with a trip to newly-relegated Hyde United tomorrow.

Closer to home, they have also brought in former Burton Albion striker Adi Yussuf and ex-Reading FC scholar Ben Brown.

Combative midfielder Liam Malone has re-joined from North Leigh, while striker Felipe Barcelos is back from playing in Italy and Kynan Isaac has returned from Banbury United, though he misses the trip to Cheshire as he is having a trial at Luton Town.

“We have extended our search to Spain for certain players that we wouldn’t necessarily find here,” said Merritt.

“The economy over there is not so good, so you can get better value for your money in terms of wages.

“We will see how it goes because there is always a question of how they will adapt.

“Because there’s a bit of merry-go-round locally, it’s difficult to get the better players.

“Wages have gone through the roof and we can’t compete with some of the other clubs in our division, so we have looked at it another way.”

But Merritt, who took over in May following the departure of Mike Ford, said patience was going to be required.

“I’m happy with the progress that has been made,” he said.

“I think it will take a fair amount of time before people notice a difference in the way we play.

“We want to get everyone to buy into what we are trying to do.

“We’re looking for an improvement on the position they finished last season. We don’t want a relegation fight.

“I don’t want to start saying things like we are going to finish in the top-six.

“Our job is to get a better product on the pitch.

“But it won’t happen overnight.”

IN: Lapoujade (Osasuna B), Brown (QPR), Adrian (Real Union), Malone (North Leigh), Del Alamo (CD Laudio), Barcelos (ASD Santhià Calcio), Isaac (Banbury Utd), Wilson (Bishops Stortford), Rodriquez (Zamora CF), Yussuf (Lincoln), Acha (unattached).

OUT: Adam Learoyd (Didcot Tn).

  •  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

FOOTBALL: Cantwell bags four to end win wait for Chalgrove Res

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:10am Wednesday 26th November 2014

ROB Cantwell scored a four-timer as Chalgrove Res ended their wait for a first Oxfordshire Senior League Division 2 win in style with a 6-0 home drubbing of Charlton Res.

FOOTBALL: Slattery helps England to victory over Scots

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014

OXFORDSHIRE’S Callum Slattery helped England Under 16s to a 2-1 win over Scotland in the Victory Shield at Yeovil Town.

SCHOOLS' FOOTBALL: Spruyt hits treble as Vale go marching on

Oxford Mail: football generic

6:50am Wednesday 26th November 2014

JAMES Spruyt hit a hat-trick as Vale of White Horse won 6-2 away to Coventry in the ESFA PlayStation Under 15 Inter Association Trophy fourth round.

FOOTBALL: Fitness pays off for Wheatley

Oxford Mail: football generic

6:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014

Wheatley Youth eventually progressed into the Oxford City FA Premier Cup semi-finals with a 5-3 extra time victory at Fairview.

Oxford United hope for Roberts return inside a month

Oxford Mail:

12:34pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

JAMES Roberts could return to Oxford United action in three or four weeks after his hamstring injury was found to be less serious than initially feared.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

12:04pm Tuesday 25th November 2014

Check out what is in our interactive back page today...

OTHER SPORT: Janette Cardy driven on by awards

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Janette Cardy was inspired to make a remarkable recovery from a career-threatening stroke by the prospect of returning to the Oxfordshire Sports Awards, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

RUGBY UNION: Titans toppled as Chinnor leave it late

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

NATIONAL 2 SOUTH

GOLF: Latest results

Oxford Mail: golf generic

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

NORTH OXFORD

FOOTBALL: Abingdon are given incentive

Oxford Mail: football generic

8:00am Tuesday 25th November 2014

Abingdon United will entertain Hassocks or Ashford United in the FA Vase third round, if they win tomorrow’s replay at Littlehampton Town.

Comments

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