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Oxford United appoint Derek Fazackerley and Mark Thomas

21 July 2014

United add Fazackerley and Thomas to backroom team

Oxford United are delighted to announce the appointment of Derek Fazackerley as Assistant Head Coach and Mark Thomas as Head of Performance and Recruitment Analysis.

Derek is among the most respected coaches in English football, having worked as Head Coach at Newcastle United in the Premier League and as England Assistant Manager under Kevin Keegan. Derek has also worked at Blackburn, Bolton Wanderers and Barnsley, and alongside Sven Goran Eriksson at Manchester City. More recently he has been Assistant Manager at Leicester City and First Team Coach at Birmingham City.

He will work alongside Head Coach Michael Appleton and Mickey Lewis, who will continue his current first team role.

Chief Executive Mark Ashton said:

“Derek is a genuine football person and we are delighted that he will be joining us. He played over 700 games in a distinguished career, mostly for Blackburn, and knows the game inside out. He has worked with managers and players of the highest calibre and is hugely respected.

“He has still got that same passion and enthusiasm for the game and we believe he will be the perfect addition to our existing coaching staff. To be able to call on his experience, his contacts within the game and his know-how will be invaluable.”

Derek said:

“It is a really exciting challenge. Michael Appleton is a good young Manager with great ideas about the game and I would love to help him achieve success here at Oxford. The club is set-up well, there are young players coming through and the whole club is progressive and ambitious. I am looking forward to getting out there on the training ground and working with the players as we build towards the new season.”

Derek will join up with the U’s on Monday morning for the first time at their training camp at Bisham Abbey where he will be joined by Mark Thomas.

Mark has been Head of Performance Analysis at Portsmouth FC for the past two years and will build on the excellent recent data analysis work that has been happening at the U’s.  He will work alongside Dan Bond as the department grows and progresses. He said:

“I have worked with Michael Appleton before and he fully appreciates the input that we can give him through studying the vast amount of data that we can now supply, not just on our own players but also on the teams we are playing against.

“I have enjoyed my time at Portsmouth but having spoken with Michael believe there are exciting times ahead here at Oxford and I am delighted to have joined the club.”

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