Oxford United have announced the appointment of Des Buckingham as the club’s new men’s first team Head Coach.
Oxford born Buckingham, who joins from City Football Group owned Mumbai City FC, has signed a long-term contract with the club.
Chairman Grant Ferguson said, “I couldn’t be happier that Des has agreed to become our new Head Coach. His approach to coaching and developing players is a perfect match for the vision we have for the club.”
Ed Waldron, Head of Recruitment, commented, “Des is someone we’ve been monitoring for a while. He’s young, highly regarded and already has a wealth of coaching experience.”
“His attacking style of play and philosophy suits the squad we are building and will help this outstanding group of players continue their excellent start to the season.”
Oxford United Chief Executive Officer, Tim Williams, added, “There was a huge amount of interest in the role but, from the moment we met Des, he became our number one choice.”
“We had a very clearly defined set of criteria to ensure we found the right cultural fit for Oxford United. Des knows the club and city already, understands what we are trying to achieve, and we feel is the right person to build on the club’s progress to date.”
Buckingham, who began his coaching career with Oxford United at the age of 18, progressed through the age-groups before eventually working with the men’s first team under Chris Wilder.
He moved to Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand in 2014, becoming the youngest coach in A-League history at the age of 31, before a spell with Stoke City’s U-23 team. Des returned to New Zealand as Head Coach of the U-20 and U-23 teams, during which time he was also the Assistant Coach to the All Whites’ first team.
In September 2020, Buckingham joined A-League club Melbourne City as Assistant Coach after being identified by City Football Group, before being appointed as the Head Coach of Indian Super League team Mumbai City in October 2021.
During his time in charge, Mumbai City won the league in 2023 breaking fifteen records on the way, including the most points and goals scored in a single season, best goal difference, most league wins, and the longest winning streak in the history of the competition with an 18-match run. In May 2023, Buckingham was voted Coach of the Year by the Football Players Association of India.
Des’s coaching team will be confirmed in due course.