Saturday, 2 August 2014

Oxford Utd are full of new players for Cherries' visit

AFCB travel up to Oxford for their last pre-season game. The League Two side have lost their main strike man Dave Kitson this summer who retired, but there are plenty of new players coming into their squad to make it a feisty encounter. They have also had a change in manager this summer as Michael Appleton has joined the club after Gary Waddock was sacked in July. More importantly Oxford have been receiving multiple takeover bids. Still, Ian Lenagan and Darryl Eagles are not looking to hang about in getting the club out of League Two.

Oxford are one of those clubs that plays in a stadium with only three stands - a familiar feeling for AFCB supporters. However, there is a lot of talk about the desire for the Us to build a new stadium and move away from the Kassam stadium which holds 12,500. Other debates going on at the club this summer have included the very important decision of what to call the home supporter's bar which has been renamed The Manor Bar after the previous home ground.

Bringing in new players though has been upper most in Michael Appleton's mind and among the new signings are Michael Collins a 28-year-old Irish midfielder who has arrived from Scunthorpe Utd and should add experience to the team. In goal, Oxford are likely to play new signing George Long who made 73 appearances for the Blades and has been the England U20 keeper - so a great signing for the Us. Right back Joe Riley, 22, has also come in on loan from Bolton until January.Appletone's latest signing is Junior Brown from Fleetwood, who can play at left back or left midfield. Up front Oxford are likely to play Danny Hilton who was signed from Rotherham in the summer and Alfie Potter, presuming that their are no injuries.

Talking of injuries, the Oxford team could be without Johnny Mullins at centre back who was injured in a friendly against Wolves recently.

Pre-season has gone pretty well for the yellow shirts as they have beaten Farnborough 1-2 and Oxford City and Didcot Town by a single goal each, but their last outing was a 0-1 defeat to Wolves at home. Last season Oxford finished 8th in League Two, just outside the play-offs so they are more than capable of giving AFCB a difficult time. AFCB's line-up could include some of those not on show yesterday like Kermorgant, Satnislas, Wilson, Cook and Arter but there will be major interest in the goalkeeper selection.

Don't forget All Departments spoke to John Harriss this week and you can listen to his Pitch Perfect podcast.

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