League One promotion challengers, Oxford United, are close to officially announcing the appointment of Des Buckingham as their new manager.
The 38-year-old is set to replace Liam Manning in charge of The U’s, following Manning’s departure to Championship side Bristol City last week.
Buckingham is currently in charge of Indian Super League side Mumbai City, who he led to the ISL Premiership title in the 2022/23 campaign.
Buckingham was a goalkeeper during his youth career and, after being born in Oxford, he joined his boyhood club from Reading before giving up on the game before turning professional.
As a coach, he began as the assistant manager to Ernie Merrick at Wellington Phoenix in the Australian A League in 2015, spending two years in that role before becoming the manager for a short stint in 2017.
He then became the assistant coach and under-23 boss at Stoke City in 2017 before becoming the New Zealand U23 assistant a year later. He was also the Kiwi’s first-team assistant manager before being the caretaker of the national team in 2019 and then working as the head coach of the New Zealand U20 and then U23 side.
He became a part of the City Football Group in 2020 when he became assistant manager at Melbourne City before taking over at Mumbai City in 2021.
He joins an Oxford United side that are currently second and in the automatic promotion places in the League One table, sitting just a point behind Portsmouth at the top-of-the-table. They have scored 31 goals and are joint top scorers with Barnsley in the third-tier following an impressive summer transfer window followed by a strong start under the aforementioned Manning.
Buckingham’s first game in charge will come after the November international break when Oxford travel to Gloucestershire to face a struggling Cheltenham Town side.