Constable arrival a 'real coup' for Puritans

Andy Whing believes it’s a “real coup” for Banbury United to have James Constable in their ranks for next season.
The new managerial team of Andy Whing (left) and James Constable (second from left) took a social distancing look around the ground after joining Banbury United. Pictures courtesy of Dave ShadboltThe new managerial team of Andy Whing (left) and James Constable (second from left) took a social distancing look around the ground after joining Banbury United. Pictures courtesy of Dave Shadbolt
The new managerial team of Andy Whing (left) and James Constable (second from left) took a social distancing look around the ground after joining Banbury United. Pictures courtesy of Dave Shadbolt

At the same time Whing was confirmed as the Puritans’ new manager, it was revealed that his former Oxford United team-mate would also be joining as player/assistant-manager.

Constable enjoyed a superb spell at Oxford between 2008 and 2014 in which he scored 106 goals, leaving him just one shy of the all-time scoring record held by Graham Atkinson.

Since then, the 35-year-old has played for the likes of Eastleigh and Hungerford Town but now he is gearing up for a coaching role at Banbury in next season’s Southern League Premier Central.

James Constable will have a role to play both on the pitch and in the dugout for Banbury United next seasonJames Constable will have a role to play both on the pitch and in the dugout for Banbury United next season
James Constable will have a role to play both on the pitch and in the dugout for Banbury United next season

And Whing knows his former team-mate will offer plenty both in the dugout and on the pitch.

“When I was applying for the job and I got some good feedback early on, I wanted to be ready if the opportunity did arrive,” Whing said.

“I have been speaking to James on and off recently and I knew he had started his coaching badges and I knew he was in between clubs and could still play.

“I just felt with where Banbury are and where James is in his career, I thought it would be a great fit.

“It’s great for two reasons. He is still very fit and he is still available to play. He scores goals, he works his socks off, he’s got great experience, he’s got aggression and he’s a born winner.

“And then to have that experience alongside me and helping me to coach and assist me, I just thought it was perfect for James, myself and the club.

“I think it’s a real coup for the club to get a player of James’ calibre and to get someone who has plenty of experience and who is starting out on his own journey in coaching.”

Constable first arrived at Oxford on loan from Shrewsbury Town in 2008/09, scoring 23 goals in 42 league games for the club who were then in the top tier of non-league football.

Signing permanently in the summer of 2009, Constable was again top scorer with 25 goals in 40 games as Oxford won promotion back to the Football League in 2009/10.

He scored in both legs of the Conference play-off semi-final against Rushden and was also on target at Wembley in the 3-1 final success against York City.

Constable left Oxford in the summer of 2014 to sign for Eastleigh ahead of the Hampshire club’s first ever season in the Conference.

He was top scorer with 16 goals as the Spitfires reached the play-offs at the first attempt, losing to Grimsby in the semi-finals.

Constable was released by Eastleigh at the end of the 2018/19 season, and joined National League South club Hungerford. However, he left the Berkshire club last November.