Oxford United have confirmed the appointment of highly-rated head coach Des Buckingham only a matter of weeks before the first derby meeting for over 20 years.

Part of the City Group for three years with Melbourne City and Mumbai City, the 38-year-old Oxford native returns to his hometown club after Liam Manning departed to join Bristol City.

Fighting for automatic promotion, the former Reading Academy goalkeeper has coached in New Zealand, Australia and India during a varied club and international career.

“It has been quite a journey in every possible way,” he told the official club website.

“On the football side of things, I remember my first day as a scholar and training with the youth team. The facilities here now are very different - we used to train at a school, nowhere near the First Team for most of the time. The club has moved forward so much and it’s a really impressive set-up now, a fantastic place to work each day."

Reading and Oxford face off for the first time in almost 20 years next month, with the match rearranged due to international involvement.