New boy Barcelos will boost Puritans for a play-off push

Puritans boss Mike Ford says the signing of Felipe Barcelos should challenge his players
Puritans boss Mike Ford says the signing of Felipe Barcelos should challenge his players

The signing of Felipe Barcelos should act as an extra incentive to the current squad at Spencer Stadium.

So says Banbury United manager Mike Ford after he was reunited with the 24-year-old Brazilian striker who has signed for the Puritans upon his return to the UK after a spell at Italian Serie D side ASD Santhia Calcio

I’ve only brought in four players and that’s because my squad has done so well

Puritans boss Mike Ford

Barcelo was born in Brazil and grew up in the city of Dourado before moving to Oxford when he was 14. He joined Oxford City’s academy and worked his way through the ranks, making his first team debut in the Southern League in 2010.

He went on to score 41 goals in 125 first team appearances for City before opting to move to Italy in 2013, playing for Serie D side ASD Santhia Calcio.

He returned to Oxford City last season, in the Vanarama National North, and made 17 starts and 25 substitute appearances in all competitions, scoring six goals. He re-signed for ASC Santhia Calcio ahead of the current season.

Ford said: “Felipe can play in several positions in the final third so that means he could take the place of five or six players. Now it’s up to those players to see it as a challenge and step up to it.

“I’ve not made many changes this season, I’ve only brought in four players and that’s because my squad has done so well. But I’ve known Felipe for a long time and I’m sure he is a player who can contribute a lot to the team as we look to push on into the play-off places in the second half of the season.

“Andy Gunn has tasted promotion with me at Oxford City but the vast majority of my players have not. I asked Andy if he wants another promotion because it’s some thing which not many players have tasted.”

The signing of Barcelos was made possible using funds from the supporters’ players fund set up and ‘ring-fenced’ to supplement the club’s playing budget.