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Darren Purse Departs

Club bids farewell as coach heads for Cardiff

17 December 2021

Oxford United’s Academy will sadly be saying farewell this Christmas to Darren Purse who will be leaving his role working the club’s Academy programme to take up a new position at Cardiff City.

Darren, who also played for the U’s at the start of his playing career, has been with the Academy for the last three and a half years but as he told us, a chance to work at another of his previous clubs was an offer he felt he had to take.

“I have loved my time at Oxford and want to wish everyone associated with the club, from the Academy through to the First Team all the best for the future. The whole club is going in the right direction and I have been just as proud to wear the badge as a coach as I was as a player.

“Cardiff offered me a chance to manage their Under 23 programme. I loved my time as a player at Cardiff. played for them and skippered the side for four seasons so it has a special place in my heart and I still have a house and connections down there. I want to thank Dan Harris and everyone at Oxford for giving me time to think things through and make a tough decision but right now I feel it is the right move in my development as a coach. I leave on the very best of terms and wish everyone at the club the very best of luck for the future.”

Academy Manager Dan Harris said:

“To have someone with Darren’s experience and knowledge of the game involved over the last three and a half years has been fantastic. Darren has been a huge asset to the club and has worked incredibly hard supporting our young players. It's easy to miss the work that goes on in Youth Development - early mornings getting up to drive minibuses; sorting kit out late at night after sessions; going through EFL audits and, ultimately, supporting young men as they enter the world of full-time football for the first time.

"Pursey has been integral to this work and, while we are sad to see him leave, we know he will go on to be successful as he now begins to work with Senior Players at a club where he enjoyed huge success as a player. Everyone at OUFC wishes him and his family well for this new challenge and thanks him for all he has done during his time with the Academy.

“As a club we love to see players and staff progress in their careers - Pablo Haysham will now step up from our U16s and work alongside Chris Hackett with the Under 19s. Pablo is a hugely respected coach and worked with Chris last season, helping the youth team win their league so we know that our scholars and young Pro's are in good hands. Chris and Pabs, like Darren and Leon Blackmore-Such before them, are fantastic role models for young players and I know they are looking forward to continuing to lead this part of the Youth Development Programme."

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