New defender Raynes determined to make his mark with Oxford United

Oxford United new boys (from left) Sean Rigg, Michael Raynes and Jake Forster-Caskey

Oxford United new boys (from left) Sean Rigg, Michael Raynes and Jake Forster-Caskey

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

Defender Michael Raynes says he is relishing the challenge of battling for a place in Oxford United’s starting line-up when they kick-off their npower League campaign at Bristol Rovers on August 18.

The centre half, 24, who has signed a two-year deal, becomes boss Chris Wilder’s third pre-season capture following the arrival of Sean Rigg and Jake Forster-Caskey – the latter on loan.

Raynes, who has had spells at Stockport and Scunthorpe, was released by league rivals Rotherham in the summer, and can’t wait to fight it out with fellow centre backs Jake Wright, Michael Duberry, Andy Whing and Harry Worley.

“I’m a hard-working player. I’m not the prettiest in the world, but I’m more of an old-school defender and put my face in the way of things,” said Raynes.

“That’s my job, at the end of the day, to stop goals going in.

“I had a couple of offers, but when I spoke to the gaffer he sold the club to me. It looks like the club is going the way I want it to go. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Raynes, who was with Worley at Stockport, said it had been tough being shown the door by the Millers, so he is looking forward to the trip to Rotherham’s New York Stadium on September 29 .

“It’s never a nice thing for a footballer, it’s very scary, but I’m happy to get it sorted,” he added.

“Steve Evans said he wanted to bring his own people in and that I wasn’t going to get much game time, so I’ve come here looking to play a lot of games.”

Raynes feels Oxford will be one of the promotion challengers.

He said: “We (Rotherham) played them (Oxford) last year and they absolutely battered us at their place.

“They have kept the nucleus of the squad together, so I am hoping I can add to that and we can have a good push.

“It’s never a bad thing having competition and I’ll be pushing them (the other central defenders) as much as I possibly can.”

Wilder said: “I’m delighted with all the signings.

“Michael brings competition in that area.

“We beat off a few clubs to get him – one in Scotland and a few others.

“He has had a promotion out of this league with Stockport where he played in an excellent side.

“Then he had a decent-sized money move to Scunthorpe in the Championship.

“Michael found himself on the outside (at Rotherham) and wanted to play some football, so we came to an agreement and we’re glad to secure his signature.

“We’ve bided our time and happy to get what we’ve got in.”

Comments (6)

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11:35am Wed 11 Jul 12

Joe1 says...

SEEMS LIKE A GOOD SOLID SIGNING A PLAYER WITH PLEANTY OF EXPERIENCE AT THIS & HIGHER LEVEL.
SEEMS LIKE A GOOD SOLID SIGNING A PLAYER WITH PLEANTY OF EXPERIENCE AT THIS & HIGHER LEVEL. Joe1
  • Score: 4

2:19pm Wed 11 Jul 12

horsham says...

This looks a good signing and Michael should get a number of first starts and also provide cover for Duberry and other defenders.

The squad is coming together!
This looks a good signing and Michael should get a number of first starts and also provide cover for Duberry and other defenders. The squad is coming together! horsham
  • Score: 4

5:15pm Wed 11 Jul 12

wheatley_jake says...

I'm happy with that signing, I think he will do very well for us.
I'm happy with that signing, I think he will do very well for us. wheatley_jake
  • Score: 1

6:02pm Wed 11 Jul 12

mandate says...

I said in a comment yesterday that Dubes has trouble keeping up with pacey strikers, and Jake Wright is inconsistent. This new signing should make it interesting to see who is good enough to play in the defence this season. Well done Chris Wilder.

I hope Steve Evans regrets letting him go. I can't see Rotherham living up to all the expectations being put on them as favourites next season.
I said in a comment yesterday that Dubes has trouble keeping up with pacey strikers, and Jake Wright is inconsistent. This new signing should make it interesting to see who is good enough to play in the defence this season. Well done Chris Wilder. I hope Steve Evans regrets letting him go. I can't see Rotherham living up to all the expectations being put on them as favourites next season. mandate
  • Score: 3

9:01pm Wed 11 Jul 12

DuberryandBeanofan says...

Welcome to Oxford United Michael Raynes.
Welcome to Oxford United Michael Raynes. DuberryandBeanofan
  • Score: 1

10:57pm Wed 11 Jul 12

OX3 says...

Hope he does well
Hope he does well OX3
  • Score: 1

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