Popular Enfield Town player/assistant manager Darren Purse will be working at League One Oxford United next season.

The 41-year-old former Birmingham City, Cardiff City and Sheffield Wednesday defender explained to the club website: “As supporters will be aware, I have had injury problems this season which have led to me accepting that my playing days have come to an end. It had always been my ambition to get back into the full-time game on the coaching and management side and an opportunity to do just that has arisen with the Oxford United academy.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my year at Enfield Town – a great club with a superb bunch of supporters and volunteers – and may well have stayed longer if I could have continued playing. Overall, it’s been a disappointing league season, but our FA Cup run was a high point. I leave with a heavy heart, and know that Andy and whoever takes my place will take the club onwards and upwards. I’ll be looking out for Town’s results every week and will be keeping in touch with Andy regularly!”

Manager Andy Leese said: “Ever since we started working together at Chesham United, I knew that it was only a matter of time before Darren returned to the full-time game, so his departure comes as no great surprise, although I am of course disappointed because we work so well together.

“The players have learnt a great deal from Darren this season, and he has been thoroughly professional throughout the season. It goes without saying that I of course wish him all the very best, and I’ll now be taking some time to think about how the management team should look going forward, in consultation with Shaun Reece and others, in good time for pre-season.”

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