MIKE Williamson is on a mission to show he can still make a telling contribution on the pitch after joining Oxford United.

The centre back has been training with the club for almost a fortnight, joining them on the pre-season trip to Portugal.

Talks have progressed over the past few days and a one-year deal was tied up yesterday.

Williamson arrives with a CV which includes a Championship winner’s medal with Newcastle United, for whom he spent five years playing in the Premier League.

An injury-hit spell followed with Wolverhampton Wanderers, who released him this summer.

But the 33-year-old is in no mood to ease down towards retirement, seeing United as a chance to add another successful campaign to his career.

He said: “If I realised I wasn’t playing for anything, I think I would hang my boots up.

“It’s not about ticking off boxes and seeing out years – it’s about achieving something.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have some fantastic seasons in my career and I’m still looking for those highlights.”

United are hopeful the defender will prove a valuable addition in the changing room, given his experience.

But after making just 13 appearances in the last two seasons, Williamson’s determination to deliver on the pitch has been sharpened.

“It’s football,” he said.

“When you’ve been around it for as many years as I have, you ride with it.

“You never get too high or too low. I’ve had time to spend with my family and reflect.

“I have found myself as hungry as ever and wanting to prove to myself I can still play numerous games a season and contribute in a positive way.”

Williamson has not featured in United’s pre-season games so far, but is expected to make his debut in Saturday’s friendly at Leeds United.

The veteran reckons he will be ready if required for the League One opener at Oldham Athletic on August 5.

And despite spending most of his career at a higher level, he is fired-up for the challenge at United.

He said: “It was funny but I was speaking to one of my close friends at Norwich and he was saying ‘you sound like you’re buzzing’.

“I really am. It’s a good fit and it’s exciting to be a part of something and a club going forward with everyone pulling in the right direction.”