STRIKER GREEN TO MAKE OXFORD 'U-TURN'
LESS THAN a year after choosing Plainmoor over the Kassam Stadium, Torquay United striker Matt Green has agreed a season-long loan move to Oxford United.
The deal, which will increase the Gulls' need to strengthen their own League Two attack, takes 22-year-old Green back to the Conference, but to the club where he enjoyed the best spell of his career so far.
Green's failure to hold down a regular place in Torquay's first team last season, especially during the run-in to promotion back to the Football League, had made it possible that he might seek new pastures.
As a player with Cardiff City, he scored ten goals in 17 starts on loan for the U's at the end of the 2007/08 season.
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That sort of form prompted Gulls boss Paul Buckle to sign him on a two-year contract last summer.
At the time then-Oxford manager Darren Patterson, who believed that Green was on the point of signing for him, did not hide his dismay over the former Swindon youngster's decision.
And the fact that Green hinted that he thought Torquay were better placed to win promotion than Oxford only served to spice the mixture.
Oxford are under the new management of Chris Wilder now, and Green says: "I had the chance to join last summer, but I feel it is a different club now.
"I do regret the decision not to join, and the way the story came out. But it has made me more determined than ever to come back and play my part for the team again.
"I could have taken an easier option in some ways, and started at a new club, but this is such a positive place to be now, and I can't wait to get back in for pre-season and be involved in a successful season.
"It is a great club with great fans, and I want to be part of that again."
Wilder said: "When I was at Halifax, we played Oxford and Matt was totally outstanding.
"I have kept monitoring him ever since.
"When we finally spoke, I was amazed how strongly he wanted to come back here.
"He feels he has a point to prove, and has this hunger to show what he can do here."
Green scored five goals in 20 starts and 15 substitute appearances for Torquay last season, saving some of his best performances for cup-ties — notably the winner in the 1-0 FA Cup Third Round victory over Championship side Blackpool at Plainmoor.
He remains a Torquay player, of course, and United chief executive Colin Lee commented: "This will enable Matt to get regular first-team football.
"We will be monitoring his progress and form while he is at Oxford."
Green's move — he will have to compete with fellow strikers James Constable and former Histon marksman Jack Midson at the Kassam — follows the decisions to release Roscoe Dsane and Iyseden Christie at Torquay.
Buckle now has only two specialist strikers, in Tim Sills and Elliot Benyon, and he will certainly be looking to bolster that department before the start of next season.
Meanwhile, Patterson — Oxford's FA Cup defeat at Plainmoor at the end of November prompted his sacking by the U's — has just been named as head of youth at League One club Bristol Rovers.