OXFORD City believe they will have to alter their recruitment strategy this summer after being moved into the National League North.

The switch after four years in the South section was expected due to the location of the teams being relegated from the division above.

But it causes a headache – financially and geographically.

The move will see City clock up more than 5,600 miles as they visit the likes of Blyth Spartans, Darlington and Spennymoor Town.

It represents a 58 per cent increase on this season, with the average round trip increasing from 170 miles to 268.

But boss Mark Jones believes the biggest impact will be on the make-up of the squad.

City were hoping to keep as much of this season’s group as possible, but that plan could now be disrupted.

Jones said: “Being totally honest, if we had a choice it wouldn’t be this one.

“We have got quite a few southern-based players and it’s not ideal.

“It does have an impact on our ability to retain players for next season.

“Over the last three or four seasons our recruitment area has been in and around London.

“For the Oxford-based lads it’s not as big an issue.

“But we have got to think about looking at players in the Midlands.”

On top of the extra mileage, the additional cost will come in the form of overnight stays.

This season only the visit to Truro City in Cornwall required a stopover, but there could be at least half a dozen in the next campaign.

Jones said: “If you are going to try to do it professionally then any journey over three hours you are looking for an overnight stay.

“On the positive side it will be a new challenge.

“There are some big clubs in there, like Darlington, York, Chester and Hereford.”

City have released Ryan Case, Bobson Bawling, Tom Carter, and John O’Donoghue, while key figures Craig King and Reece Fleet are under contract for next season.

Everyone else has been offered fresh terms, with Zac McEachran becoming the first to put pen to paper.

Jones said: “His ability and creativity is up there with the best at our level, and to have a player like that is very important to the way that we play.”