Central defender Teddy Mfuni has signed with Oxford United from Warrington Town, just six months after being released by Preston North End.

The 18 year-old was not handed a professional contract in the summer after coming through the Preston academy but did get a deal with Warrington Town in the Northern Premier Division. Mfuni obviously caught the eye in the seventh tier of English football as he was handed a trial with Oxford United.

The League One side managed by Karl Robinson have now swooped to bring him in on a permanent 18 month deal, and he has jumped back up four divisions in the process. It’s an impressive move for the defender who had helped Warrington Town up to fourth place in their division.

Oxford are currently in 15th place in League One, eleven points from the play-offs and seven points above the drop zone.

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Speaking to the club’s official website, Robinson spoke highly of Mfuni, “He came in and did really well. He has a great attitude, he worked exceptionally hard and he did well in a couple of behind closed doors friendlies. He is still very raw but there are a lot of good things there for us to work with and hopefully he keeps improving and does really well for us.”

It represents a great opportunity for Mfuni to play under an experienced manager at a club who have stabilised in League One over the last seven seasons, making the play-offs on two occasions, and finishing eighth on two others.

Oxford have a very good track record when it comes to defenders progressing at the club and moving onto better things. In recent years Rob Dickie, Rob Atkinson and Luke McNally were all given chances at a young age before all moving to the Championship with Queens Park Rangers, Bristol City and Burnley respectively.

Whilst very grateful for the chance at Warrington, Teddy couldn’t hide his delight at the move. “I want to thank Warrington who offered me the chance to play at a good standard and learn from being in a very competitive league. I came down to Oxford, loved it while I was here for a week on trial, and then when I went home I was waiting for the phone to ring for two days! When they called me to offer me this chance I jumped at it and am absolutely determined to give it my best shot and show what I can do.”

Preston are quite well stocked in the centre-back positions at the moment, even with the fact we play three at the back, so chances have been limited for young players to step up from the academy. If he was able to play as a wing-back then it may have been a different story.

However I’m sure Mfuni can look at the likes of Ben Davies as examples of players who came through our system and have gone on to have great careers. With his rapid progression already this season, it may not be long before Mfuni faces Preston on the opposition side.

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