OXFORD City have increased the size of their junior

set-up following a merger with Ignite Sport UK.

The two already had a partnership, but the latest move will see all Ignite players from under seven to under 18 play for City from this season.

In turn, Ignite will provide the coaching support, management and administration of City’s existing youth and junior teams.

Justin Merritt, who is City’s director of football and owner of Ignite, said: “Having everyone play for our flagship club will improve overall identity and strengthen our junior pathway programmes.

“Ignite will provide the structure around delivery, coaching and administration which will provide a professional system.

“Together this will create a clearer structure that will benefit everyone and create an environment in which coaches and players can achieve even better outcomes.”

Former Oxford United coach Mickey Lewis is the head of City’s academy, which is now using video technology for player analysis across all age groups.

He said: “This will enable us to provide better coaching and provide young players with a real opportunity for progression.

“The aim is to see even more academy graduates represent the Oxford City first team.”

City’s youth set-up has had a decent track record in recent seasons.

Udoka Godwin-Malife was signed by Forest Green Rovers last year, while in the existing set-up players Zac McEachran, Ben Barratt and Craig Fasanmade came through the ranks, as did assistant manager Andy Ballard.