Clarke backs Crocombe to show safe pair of hands

Oxford Mail: 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

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.”

Community association given stay of execution

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

A COMMUNITY group was celebrating yesterday after being told it could stay at its base for the immediate future.

Operation clean-up on estate hit by mini whirlwind

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

A CLEAN-up operation was under way yesterday to remove the damage caused by a whirlwind over the weekend.

Update: Fiaz Munshi guilty of manslaughter over Magdalen Road arson and not guilty of murder

Oxford Mail:

2:52pm Tuesday 22nd July 2014

FIAZ MUNSHI has been found guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of murder over the deaths of two children in an arson attack in East Oxford in 1997.

She was loved by so many: huge turn-out for the funeral of Liberty Baker

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

MORE than 300 friends and relatives turned out yesterday to pay their final respects to Witney schoolgirl Liberty Baker.

Exhibition unravels the story of boy king’s tomb

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

HIDDEN under the sand for centuries, this little statue will come face-to-face with thousands of visitors in Oxford.

Firefighters continue to tackle barn blaze near Thame

Oxford Mail: Fire engine Oxfordshire

7:55am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Firefighters are still tackling a barn blaze near Thame which closed the A148 for four hours last night. 

Downton’s church set

Oxford Mail: Highclere Castle, better known to many as Downton Abbey

7:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

ITV drama Downton Abbey came to Charlbury's St Mary’s Church yesterday.

Murder jury retires

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

7:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

The jury in the trial of Fiaz Munshi has begun its deliberations.

Disgust as puppies abandoned in box

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

Two puppies, one of which was dead, were found abandoned in a cardboard box in Wallingford yesterday..

Morris team is looking to the future with its newest recruit

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

YOU’RE never too young to take up an age-old hobby.

Schoolboy dies after falling ill on holiday

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

TRIBUTES have been paid to a 14-year-old described as a “fantastic kid” who died after becoming ill on holiday in France.

Last chance for say on transport

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire county council logo round

6:30am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

THE public have their last chance to comment on proposals for major transport schemes across Oxfordshire.

Plans unveiled for 200-home development

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

RESIDENTS were invited to give their views on a proposed 200-home development in Witney yesterday.

Schoolgirl laments the loss of towers in poetic tribute

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

THIS 12-year-old girl was so moved by the impending demolition of Didcot Power Station she wrote a poem about it.

Oxford United striker Kitson calls time on career

Oxford Mail: Dave Kitson salutes the fans after Oxford United’s welcome 2-0 win at Plymouth on Saturday when he scored

8:50am Tuesday 22nd July 2014

DAVE Kitson has called time on his career after agreeing to leave Oxford United by mutual consent.

Oxford United announce Derek Fazackerley as new assistant head coach

Oxford Mail:

10:00am Monday 21st July 2014

OXFORD United have appointed former England No 2 Derek Fazackerley as their new assistant head coach.

Appleton happy with performance of Oxford United youngsters

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 21st July 2014

MICHAEL Appleton hailed the contribution of Oxford United’s youngsters in Saturday’s 1-0 pre-season friendly win over Didcot Town, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

Friendly: Didcot Town 0 Oxford United 1

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

8:00pm Saturday 19th July 2014

JAMES ROBERTS' second-half strike made it three wins from three pre-season games for Oxford United as they beat a spirited Didcot Town side 1-0 at Draycott Engineering Loop Meadow Stadium.

Appleton cool on Gillett link

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 19th July 2014

Michael Appleton says Simon Gillett is not a transfer target despite the midfielder being spotted watching Oxford United this week.

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