ADAPTING to life at a new club is rarely easy, but for Craig King moving to Oxford City meant more than meeting new teammates and securing a parking space, writes RYAN BRATLEY.

When the goalkeeper made his debut in March, he admitted to not having touched a football in eight months after his ongoing battle with depression and anxiety forced him to leave behind a professional career at Luton Town.

Nine months on, the 22-year-old is a key member of a City side who will face Sky Bet League Two club Tranmere Rovers in the first round of the Emirates FA Cup, but it has not been an easy journey.

“Around the start of the season was a difficult time for me in terms of my mental health. I was in the doctors a lot which led me to being prescribed anti-depressants,” said King.

“Since taking those I’ve been a lot happier and I’ve felt like my normal self again.”

With the help of medication and the ongoing support of family, friends, and coaches, City’s No 1 has finally been able to rediscover the love for the game he lost as a young pro.

King said: “Football’s not a chore for me now and I genuinely enjoy coming to training and matches – which is a dream for me.”

City go into the tie high on confidence following their dominant 4-2 win over Hampton & Richmond Borough in Vanarama National League South last Saturday.

They enjoyed a dream run to the second round last season and King is hopeful of trying to replicate that achievement.

He said:“The lads don’t really talk about last year’s games.

“But I know we aren’t going in to this game just to have a good day out.

“We think its realistic to go up to Tranmere and get through and that’s what we plan to do.

“We go there as underdogs and that’s a position we like being in – we’re a banana skin they’re trying to avoid slipping up on.

“Regardless of the result, we think the fans deserve a good away trip to a Football League club.”