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Spanish revolution to continue at Oxford City

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THE Spanish revolution will continue at Oxford City next season, with general manager Justin Merritt already putting plans into place.

City’s five-strong contingent of goalkeeper Salva de la Cruz, defenders Jose Lapoujade and Alejandro-Adrian Santiago, plus midfielders Javier Rodriguez and Ander Del Alamo, returned to Spain shortly after Saturday’s 4-2 home win over Guiseley in Vanarama Conference North.

But Merritt is confident they will be back next season – and there could be more on the way.

“We’ve offered terms to bring them all back again next season,” he said.

“I expect at least three of them will be coming back, but we’ve got to respect that they’ve come over here and they have family and a life back in Spain as well.

“We’ve arranged some trials in Santander in July, so we have another group of the same calibre coming.”

After making a surprise bid for the play-offs this season, Merritt is keen to keep the City squad together as much as possible.

However, he anticipates a battle to hold on to key players, including 27- goal top scorer Adi Yussuf, in the face of competition from clubs higher up the pyramid.

“We’re trying to encourage the current squad to stay together, but obviously when you do well there is always going to be interest from other teams.

“Certainly Adi is a player we’re trying to work with and he’s already stated that he wouldn’t go to another team at the same level as us.

“But if someone gets a move and goes higher then we have to respect that and all of the players here are very young and ambitious as well.”

With three of the sides being relegated from the Conference Premier being north of Oxford, as well as at least one of the clubs promoted from the Southern League, City could be moved from the north division to the south.

But Merritt has no preference, saying: “I’ve enjoyed it in the north this season and we’ve played some good sides in front of some good crowds.
“The teams I know in the south all like to play football, so maybe that plays into our hands a little bit.

“I just hope it will be sorted soon, because it affects which players we can sign for next season.”

Source: www.oxfordmail.co.uk

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