Former national U-23 head coach Des Buckingham has been appointed head coach for English League One club Oxford United.
The club, who are in second place and pushing for promotion to the English Championship, have confirmed Buckingham (38) has signed a long-term contract after leaving Indian Super League club Mumbai City.
Oxford United chairman Grant Ferguson said: “I couldn’t be happier that Des has agreed to become our new head coach. His approach to coaching and developing players is a perfect match for the vision we have for the club.”
Ed Waldron, Head of Recruitment, said: “Des is someone we’ve been monitoring for a while. He’s young, highly regarded and already has a wealth of coaching experience.
“His attacking style of play and philosophy suits the squad we are building and will help this outstanding group of players continue their excellent start to the season.”
In 2022, Buckingham was reportedly one of the candidates short-listed for the All Whites head coaching role after the departure of Danny Hay.
Buckingham ruled himself out of contention, saying he had signed a two-year contract extension with Mumbai City, part of the global City Football Group that has ownership stakes in 12 clubs, including English Premier League champions Manchester City and A-League club Melbourne City.
Buckingham was an assistant coach at Melbourne City in 2020, after leaving New Zealand where he had coached at the Wellington Phoenix and New Zealand’s national U-20 and U-23 squads.
Buckingham began his coaching career at his hometown club of Oxford United when he was 18.
He was brought to New Zealand in 2014 by WaiBOP Football as a Football Development Officer but soon moved to Wellington where he began his roles with the Phoenix club.
During his time with Mumbai City, the club won the 2023 ISL title, and in May, Buckingham was voted Coach of the Year by the Indian Players’ Football Association.