Yeovil Town are giving a trial to an Oxford City defender next month, to see if he is capable of rising up four levels from where he was playing last season. James Clarke is a 22 year old right-back who used to be on the books of Oxford United before making the switch across the city. He made 32 appearances for United between 2007 and 2009, but had his contract cancelled in February 2009, allowing him to join the non-league side. He has also played as a centre-back for City during his time there.
Oxford have recently won the Southern League Premier Division, and will play in Conference North next season, meaning that Clarke would be aiming to play four divisions higher than the league he played in during the 2011-12 season, if his trial is successful.
Oxford City manager Mike Ford told the Oxford Mail that he had given permission for the two week trial to take place, but implied that they would be expecting a transfer fee if Yeovil take up their interest in him:
"James is going to Yeovil for two weeks and although he is still our player (he is under contract), I didnít feel we could stop him having the opportunity to go to a Football League club. If Iím being selfish, I would like him back at the club. I told him how valuable he has been to us, but I hope it works out well for him. If it doesnít, then the door is always open for him to come back."
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