WHEN Matty Taylor put pen to paper this week, it ended an 11-year wait.

The ink on the permanent deal confirmed the striker’s career had finally come full circle.

Having been released in 2009 – for the second time – with only a handful of substitute appearances under his belt, the skinny teenager from Kidlington embarked on a long journey back home.

“It’s taken me ten years or so to get back here, so I wasn’t going to leave in a hurry,” he grins.

Having learned his trade the hard way at Didcot Town and North Leigh, the flourishing goals return caught the eye.

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Forest Green Rovers began his climb back up the pyramid and from there he got into the Football League with Bristol Rovers.

United were reportedly interested at that stage – and had their fingers burned in a botched move two years later.

From there Taylor took the bold move of crossing the divide to Bristol City.

As a Championship player he was out of United’s reach until he fell out of favour at Ashton Gate, paving the way for a loan move to the Kassam Stadium.

On paper it looked a dream result – the local boy coming home.

Football does not always do fairytales, but after an injury-hit start it did not take long for him to begin making up for lost time.

He said: “When I first stepped in the building a year ago it was like a bit of a time capsule.

“It was a bit surreal, but it just made me relax and feel at home straight away.

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“I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a big part of my decision as well.

“You can’t base it all on that, but my family and friends are buzzing that I’m not going to be miles away.

“When I was a youngster here I was delighted to get my first professional contract and make some appearances.

“They were all off the bench, so it still felt like I had a lot to prove here anyway, even though I came with a good goalscoring record.

“But I really enjoyed playing for the club from start to finish last season and hopefully I can for the next few years.”

United’s latest No 9 was the match-winner they had craved, turning tight games their way time and time again to get them into the play-offs.

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And Taylor, who turned 30 in March, is aiming to make the return of 17 goals from 27 starts just the start.

He said: “I’m thankful there was an unbelievable team here and they create lots of chances.

“Hopefully we keep creating them and I can keep putting them in.

“I think I showed last year there’s plenty of goals in me and hopefully there’s plenty more to come.

“I feel fit and healthy. I don’t feel I’ve lost any pace.

“I’m itching to get back into it.

“Hopefully I can give Oxford some of my best years.”