Winger ends season with first senior game
The final game of the season saw yet another of Oxford United’s promising youngsters given his senior debut.
Winger Sam Humphreys was given the last few minutes of the 1-0 win at Newport County to cap a season that has seen him impress everyone in development games. Sam, 19, has been with the club since he was just seven years old and told us how proud he was to make his debut at Rodney Parade.
“I have been on the bench five or six times this season and there have been moments when I thought I might get on, but it hasn’t happened and I have had to be patient. That’s fine, being in the squad is good experience, but when I got the shout on Saturday that I was going on it was a great moment for me. I wasn’t too nervous, quite calm really, I was just focussed on helping the team get a win to end the season.”
Sam makes it eight young local players to have played for the first team this season, joining Max Crocombe, James Roberts, Callum O’Dowda, Aidan Hawtin, Josh Ashby, Josh Ruffels and Sam Long. The Chipping Norton based winger, able to play on either flank, believes that togetherness will be key as the U’s look to continue their excellent finish to the season into a flying start next time around.
“We are all close” he said, “the whole squad not just the young players, and ending the season eight games unbeaten shows that, I think. That was important because we want to take that into next year, have a close-knit squad and kick on from here.
“The Gaffer has been saying to all of the players to keep this form going, end well, and then get a break, but stay ready and come back even stronger so we start next season strongly as well.”
See the whole interview plus the thoughts of Andy Whing and Michael Appleton in Yellow Player right now