CRAIG Short has revealed the level of detail that goes into Oxford United’s recruitment during the transfer window.

The U’s first team coach used his links with Louie Sibley, who he worked with at Derby County, to provide a character reference for United’s head of recruitment Ed Waldron.

With Short having been a player or coach for more than 35 years, he’s established strong links within the game.

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He said: “Because I’ve been in the game so long, I seem to have a contact at any club. Ed’s often asked me in the summer ‘can you get a character reference on such and such?’.

“It’s not so much the ability of these players we’re trying to sign because you see them on videos, and there’s so much data.

“Ed’s incredible, and he’s very good at his job. He’s very thorough, and if he wants me to make a phone call, I’ll make a phone call for character references, because that’s important for what you bring into the club.

“You want characters, but you want the right sort of characters, and that’s part of Ed’s job, but also the coaches.

“If we know people, we have to do those background checks.”

On the signing of Sibley, which was completed last week, Short said: “I haven’t worked with him for a few years now, but he came on the scene at 15, and was with the Under-23s at 15.

“He did very well, and it didn’t take him long to break into the first team. Louie always makes things happen, he’s one of them street footballers who goes past people and creates things.

“He’s got a bit of an edge to him, and we had to have a word with him about his discipline when he was younger because he just wanted to win so much.

“He’s got a lovely left foot, drives well with the ball, and goes past people, which is exciting for fans.

“I’ve always enjoyed watching him play, and when you look at his record, he’s played 60 to 70 games in the Championship.

“Even though he’s 22, he’s got experience on his side and played at a big club, and understands what it’s like to play with the pressure of that big club.

“He’ll be a really good addition for us, especially with a manager that wants to play attacking football. Sibbers will be a huge advantage to us.

“Louie’s only going to get better and better. I think his frustrating thing was that he got played out of position a couple of times at Derby, but they had to do that because of personnel.

“If we get him as a number eight, driving forward with the ball, then he gets you up the pitch, and gets goals and assists. He’s very committed.”