Clarke backs Crocombe to show safe pair of hands

Max Crocombe is likely to start the forthcoming    campaign in goal for United as Ryan Clarke recovers from a foot operation

Max Crocombe is likely to start the forthcoming campaign in goal for United as Ryan Clarke recovers from a foot operation

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

Ryan Clarke believes Oxford United will be in safe hands while he recovers from a foot operation as Max Crocombe prepares for a run in the side.

The surgery means the 32-year-old goalkeeper will be on the sidelines when the squad regroup for the first time later this week for fitness tests.

Clarke is expected to miss pre-season and could be on the sidelines for the first month of the new Sky Bet League Two campaign.

While U’s boss Gary Waddock will closely watch how Clarke’s recovery progresses, if a loan keeper is required for the opening games, it will be as a back-up to Crocombe.

The New Zealander, who turns 21 in the opening week of the season, has had to be patient.

After keeping three successive clean sheets at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, he did not play a minute of first-team football last season as Clarke excelled.

But United’s No 1 has the utmost confidence in his teammate.

Clarke said: “Max has got all the attributes to be a top keeper.

“He’s at an age now where he needs to be tested in pressure situations.

“It’s a good chance for him and he’s highly rated here.

“I hope he does brilliantly if he’s given the chance, because we want the club to have a good start.

“He’s been great for me since he’s come through.

“At the same time I will be looking to get fit, but I won’t take it for granted that I will get my place back.”

When it became clear last month the U’s No 1 needed an operation, Waddock quickly made it clear Crocombe, who played at the Under 20 World Cup for the Junior All Whites last summer, would fill the gap.

Clarke thinks his understudy would benefit from both the advance warning and the prospect of a prolonged run in the side.

He said: “If the manager has told him I think that’s a good situation for Max.

“It will be good for him to get his head round and he can fully concentrate on getting right for pre-season.

“It will give him a boost.”

Hot-shot Danny Hylton on a high at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

DANNY Hylton thinks he is playing the best football of his career after a brace for Oxford United on Tuesday night made it ten goals for the season already.

Oxfordshire bid for record Poppy Appeal total to mark centenary of start of First World War

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

PEOPLE in Oxfordshire are being urged to help break the £500,000 barrier for the first time as this year’s Poppy Appeal is launched today.

Oxford's Lord Mayor gives ancient city walls the once-over

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

NOT crumbling too much and graffiti free: Oxford’s ancient city walls were given a clean bill of health in yesterday’s traditional inspection.

Hook Norton farm trailers stolen

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Food trailers were stolen from a Hook Norton farm over Tuesday night and yesterday morning.

More Oxfordshire churches ‘at risk’ says heritage group

Oxford Mail: DISTINCTIVE: The English Heritage flag will be flown most of the time

8:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

Eight Oxfordshire churches have been added to English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk register.

Faringdon comes third in ranking of 'hotspot' places for families to live

Oxford Mail: Faringdon Folly Tower Open Day

8:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

FARINGDON is the third best place for families to live in England and Wales, a new report claims.

‘Mr Scouting’ Reg Hayes, 99, dies after 87 years’ loyal service

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

REG Hayes, believed to be Britain’s longest serving Scout, has died at the age of 99.

Abingdon's Drayton Road roadworks due to be completed

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

ROADWORKS that caused serious delays for drivers in Abingdon were due to be completed yesterday.

An emotional gathering on what would have been Witney schoolgirl Liberty Baker's 15th birthday

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

LIBERTY Baker’s family and friends gathered at her grave yesterday to mark what would have been her 15th birthday.

New Bishop of Oxford will live outside city as current £10m house deemed too expensive

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

FOR decades, the Bishop of Oxford has lived in a North Oxford property worth millions.

East of Woodstock homes consultation ‘should be including Oxford Airport bosses’

Oxford Mail: west oxfordshire district council

8:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

AIRPORT bosses should have been consulted ahead of plans to build up to 1,500 homes east of Woodstock, a resident told councillors yesterday.

Developers to be asked to return cash for A40 road project at Witney

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

A COUNCIL boss wants to retrieve millions of pounds handed back to developers for a new junction on the A40 at Witney.

Badger cull protest in Oxford to be held this weekend

Oxford Mail: Badger (11754077)

6:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

A protest against the culling of badgers will go through Oxford on Saturday.

‘Yes’ to plan for 24,000 more homes in Cherwell District Council area

Oxford Mail: Cherwell district council logo

6:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

THERE could be 24,445 new homes built across the Cherwell District Council area after councillors voted to approve modifications to the local plan.

Morris cuts short Oxford United loan and returns to Norwich City

Oxford Mail:

12:30pm Thursday 23rd October 2014

CARLTON Morris has ended his loan at Oxford United and returned to parent club Norwich City.

Hot-shot Danny Hylton on a high at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

DANNY Hylton thinks he is playing the best football of his career after a brace for Oxford United on Tuesday night made it ten goals for the season already.

Watch: Match highlights and reaction to Oxford United's win at Northampton Town

Oxford Mail:

12:13pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Watch match highlights of Oxford United's 3-1 win at Northampton Town, plus after match reaction

United go Wild with comeback victory over Northampton + Video match highlights

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

MICHAEL Appleton was thrilled by the response Oxford United showed to falling behind as they stormed back to win 3-1 at Northampton Town.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match at Northampton?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

11:07pm Tuesday 21st October 2014

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