This week we have been introducing the youngsters who will be joining Oxford United as scholars when we return to training and football resumes.
Over the last two days we met goalkeeper Eddie Brearey, striker Adam Smith, winger Will Owens and midfielder Mac Masters. Today it’s the turn of defenders James Golding and Clinton Nosakhare.
We asked each of them to write their own introductions, and both have a story to tell…
James Golding (CB)
Athletic, composed defender in the mould of Rob Dickie, James joined the club after previously spending eight years at AFC Wimbledon. A talented, modern-day defender, Golding impressed whilst on trial including playing against his former side in an U18s fixture in front of watching first team staff.
Since I can remember I always loved playing with a ball. Having a ball at my feet always put a smile on my face and whether it was playing with my brothers, friends or competitively I was always having fun.
The first football memory I have is of kicking the ball about with my dad in the local park. My first game for Oxford was against my old club and so I was delighted that we got the win and I was pleased with my overall performance. I found out that I was offered a scholarship whilst I was in the car with my dad and knew that this was the club that I wanted to come to in order to develop as a footballer.
This was a hard decision for me as it meant leaving AFC Wimbledon (the club I had been at since 8) however I knew that I was making the right choice.
During lockdown I have been following the fitness programme provided but also practicing with my brothers in the garden in order to stay as fit and sharp as possible for when quarantine if over. In the next few months I hope to try and make the starting U18 team and hopefully by the end of my scholarship receive a pro contract.
Clinton Nosakhare (CB)
6'2" powerful centre half from Oxford who has previously been at ERZ Graz in Austria and West Bromwich Albion. Travelled with the U23s on thier pre-season tour to Scotland this season and has been a regular starter in the U18s this year whilst still a schoolboy.
Hello, my name is Clinton Nosakhare and I am 16 years old.
Football has always been my passion from a young age. I started playing football at the age of 5 as a goalkeeper for my local club in Austria. I stopped playing football at the age of 9 and started playing again at the age of 13 when I moved to the UK.
The 2010 World Cup made me love the game, all the excitement and atmosphere was so overwhelming. The first club I joined was ESK Graz, an Austrian team. I went on a few trials in Austria for clubs like SK Sturm Graz and GAK Graz, but when I moved to the UK I joined my local club Oxford City and from there I got scouted for clubs like Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.
I decided to join West Bromwich Albion which was the first ever Academy I had played for but that did not last long as I was released a year later but that did not make me lose any hope. In the summer of 2018 I joined Oxford United. I remember my first game as if it was yesterday. We played the best players from the JPL U16 at the time; we were u15s. We drew that game, but I was relieved even though we drew because I played well enough for me to continue that form.
My major milestones were joining West Bromwich Albion and going on tour with the Oxford United u18s and 23s to Scotland last summer. With that said I also had major setbacks like injuries that lasted quite a long time and lack of performances in certain games but that is normal as a footballer; it all depends on how you react to such negativity.
I think the moment I was the proudest of was performing in Scotland. I was under a lot of pressure at that time but still performed in matches and trained well, really a memory I will never forget in my life. On the day I got offered my Scholarship Dan Harris the Head of the Academy invited my dad to a meeting. At first I thought I was going to get in trouble or something like that but it turned out completely different. That was really a life changing day in my life.
During Lockdown I have been doing a lot of running especially by using the MapMyRun App which is fantastic to keep track on how far you have run in a certain time. I have also been doing a lot of Gym work in my back garden. I am looking forward to playing football again; this lockdown has really brought a stalemate to my football career which I am disappointed at, but it is something you just have to get on with. I just cannot wait to start my scholarship at Oxford United.
In the next few months, I want to start as many games for the youth team as possible and improve on my technique on the the ball. By the end of my scholarship I hope that I continue my footballing career with Oxford United and get offered my professional contract. My goal for the next 8 years is to at least make 200 professional appearance. Maybe it seems unrealistic but that’s the path I chose.