Football in Bracknell

Oxford United need wingers, is Sam Barratt the answer?

We’ve been sent this piece by Oxford United supporter Jerry Mallick speculating that former Bracknell Town winger Sam Barratt might just be the answer to the U’s winger woes.

Mallick writes:

Oxford United, Port Vale and MK Dons are all ready to hijack Bristol Rovers’ move for non-league starlet Sam Barratt, according to reports this week.

Barratt is a 21-year-old left winger at Maidenhead United in the Conference South. The former Bracknell Town star recently spent a week long trial at Bristol Rovers, and impressed the club and fans during three performances for the League One team.

However Bristol Rovers reportedly now face stiff competition for Barratt’s signature from several clubs including League One rivals Oxford United and MK Dons, and a deal could be put in motion before the end of the transfer window.

Watch: Highlight reel of Sam Barratt doing what he does best

Barratt scored five goals for Maidenhead last season,  who currently sit top of the Conference South. The left winger is a tall pacy player with good set piece delivery. But where would Barratt, who began his career at Bracknell and became their youngest ever goalscorer at 16, fit in at The Yellows?

Wing woes

Oxford United could sign Barratt as a low cost option to replace Rob Hall, who is out with a serious knee injury, while Port Vale are also looking for players in wide areas.

Sam Barratt celebrates scoring from the penalty spot against Henley Town. Photo: Connor Sharod-Southam.

Sam Barratt celebrates scoring from the penalty spot against Henley Town. Photo: Connor Sharod-Southam.

With Chris Maguire and Alex MacDonald the only real options in wide areas, 17-year-old Tyler Roberts is Oxfords only competition for places on the wings. Oxford United boss Michael Appleton may wish to bolster his options in that area, and Barratt’s set piece delivery and flair could make him a good option.

So Barratt, a hero to Bracknell fans, could make sense. As he is a non-league player the fee would be cheaper than buying from a league rival, and Barratt has high potential which could make it a deal worth doing for Appleton before the window closes.

Barratt said his trial with the Gasheads “was quality” in an interview with world football site Just Football, and also described Bracknell as a “brilliant club”.

Bristol Rovers may have to move fast or face missing out on their talented summer trialist.


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  1. […] League clubs including Bristol Rovers where he spent the summer of 2016 on trial, as well as speculation Oxford United were keen – while he has also spent two trial spells with Premier League side Crystal […]