DES Buckingham is confident his lack of Football League experience will not hinder him after becoming Oxford United’s new head coach.

The Oxford-born boss has coached sides in New Zealand, Australia and India, however his involvement at UK sides is limited to stints with the U’s and Stoke City.

Buckingham worked with various age group teams at United at the beginning of his coaching career, before progressing to the first team as part of Chris Wilder’s backroom staff at the start of the 2013/14 season.

He left the U’s for Wellington Phoenix in 2014, before coming back to England three years later as the assistant boss of the Stoke Under-23s side.

The 38-year-old then enjoyed various roles with the New Zealand national team, prior to joining Melbourne City and then his most recent position at Mumbai City.

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Buckingham’s two spells at United and Stoke are his only involvement in English football, however the changing roles and responsibilities of managers in recent years, and the growth in the numbers of head coaches mean he does not see the shortage of EFL experience as a negative.

Asked about the situation, Buckingham said: “There are probably two answers for me. The first is there’s the way clubs are now set up, it’s not overly reliant on the head coach knowing everything and setting everything up.

“There are very good people in this building, in very good roles. It’s about utilising the skillsets of those people to go far further than that one person could.

“I’d also like to think from my coaching journey that yes, not EFL experience, but lots of good experiences in terms of building up my coaching and my coaching CV.

“I think coming back now, at the right time, is a good fit and it feels right. I think the group’s in a healthy space and the club certainly is.

“I feel like I can come back and add some of that experience, and take it on alongside everyone else here.”

Recent history demonstrates that EFL experience isn’t essential in achieving promotion from Sky Bet League One.

Last season, automatic promotion winners Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town were led by Steven Schumacher and Kieran McKenna respectively.

Neither had managed in the Football League previously, with both in fact managing a senior team side for the first ever time, aside from Schumacher having a caretaker spell with Southport.

During the 2021/22 campaign, Rotherham United won their third promotion under Paul Warne, who again was in his first managerial position.

The season prior saw Blackpool brush past Karl Robinson’s United en route to promotion via the play-offs, with the Tangerines led by Neil Critchley, in his first senior head coach role after leaving the academy set-up at Liverpool.