English attacker George Oakley is determined to make an impact in Scottish football after agreeing a contract with Caley Thistle.
Former Wimbledon forward Oakley was one of seven trialists fielded in Inverness’ 1-0 pre-season victory against Forres Mechanics on Saturday when defender Brad McKay headed the winner 12 minutes from time.
Oakley’s one-year deal will be finalised this week, while goalkeeper Mark Ridgers will also complete his move to Caledonian Stadium.
Manager John Robertson is also keen to agree a deal with Republic of Ireland under-19 international Zac Elbouzedi, previously with West Brom, as he prepares his squad for a push for the Championship title.
Oakley reckons a change in setting will help take him out of his comfort zone. The 21-year-old said: “Moving from London it’s a big change but one I’m looking forward to.
“It has been a hard pre-season so far, it’s been a big change with completely different scenery. We’ve had beach runs on the sand dunes, it’s different but I’m enjoying it.
“It was a big decision for me to come here but the main reason I have is I want to concentrate on football and only football with no distractions.
“I want to concentrate on getting Inverness back into the Premiership.
“I need to play football and I think this is the best chance for me to get out of my comfort zone.
“I had a few clubs showing interest in England but as soon as I got the phone call from John Robertson, that was it. It was at about 8.30pm and I was about to go to bed but there was no thought. I was there, count me in.”
Oakley came through the youth ranks at Wimbledon but made only 11 first-team appearances without scoring, with loan spells at Kingstonian, Welling United and Maidstone United.
The Englishman sees an opportunity to make a name for himself in Scotland and he said: “I’ve been at Wimbledon since I was 13, but I’ve had friends who have gone to Scottish football who have said it’s a good opportunity.
“I’ve got a friend at Partick Thistle, Ade Azeez, who I used to play with, while Craig Tanner has just gone to Motherwell.
“I want to show everybody what I can do.”