MA­TURE ROSE IS IN FULL BLOOM

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Stu­art Ham­monds

HE MAY still be in his prime, but Danny Rose is rel­ish­ing his role as one of Ox­ford United’s se­nior pros – though the ex-Manch­ester United re­serves cap­tain would not mind oust­ing the lat­est star­let from Michael Ap­ple­ton’s team.

Mid­fielder Rose, 27, first joined the U’s nine years ago in Jan­uary, when Sir Alex Fer­gu­son sent him to the Con­fer­ence on loan as a favour to his pal Jim Smith, who soon signed him per­ma­nently.

Re­cover

Now in the third year of his sec­ond spell at the Kas­sam Sta­dium, af­ter re­build­ing his ca­reer in Non-League with New­port County and Fleet­wood Town, Rose is one of the old heads that Eng­land U20 in­ter­na­tional John Lund­stram can turn to.

He came on as a sub to help the League Two pro­mo­tion hope­fuls re­cover from a goal down to beat Brain­tree in their mid­week FA Cup first-round re­play.

Rose told The FLP: “I played the first dozen games but picked up a hip in­jury at Ac­cring­ton last month – and the lads have car­ried on the good form we were al­ready on.

“I can have no com­plaints about not go­ing straight back into the team be­cause the likes of John and Liam Ser­combe have been do­ing so well.

“We’ve had a few cup games in the last couple of weeks, where lads in and around the team have been able to get some min­utes un­der their belt.You just have to bide your time.”

On his drop from the top to the fifth level of English foot­ball, com­pared to Lund­stram swap­ping life along­side Ross Barkley for a fourth-tier club, he says: “I was 18 and the club has changed mas­sively since then.

“For me, it was a bit of a cul­ture shock drop­ping down, in terms of the train­ing ground, the op­po­si­tion and the style of play. We used to train at Mil­ton United’s ground, whereas now we’re at Horspath by the big Mini plant in Ox­ford, and the fa­cil­i­ties wouldn’t look out of place at a Cham­pi­onship club.

“We try to get the ball down and play, so that wouldn’t have been too much of a cul­ture shock for lads like John.”

Pride

Ox­ford won pro­mo­tion back to the Foot­ball League in 2010, while Rose re­gained his top 92 sta­tus with Fleet­wood two years later be­fore re­join­ing the U’s in 2013 af­ter a spell with Alder­shot.

“The club has come a long way and I can cer­tainly take a bit of pride in how far, be­cause I’ve been able to wit­ness some of the jour­ney,” he adds.

“We’ve got a lot of young play­ers com­ing through and it’s good to be that player who can look af­ter them a bit.”

PICS: Ac­tion Im­ages

TOP TAL­ENT: Ox­ford’s John Lund­stram, right, chal­lenges Brain­tree’s Remy Cler­ima in mid­week MEN­TOR: Danny Rose is happy to of­fer ad­vice to the young­sters at Ox­ford

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