Welcome to today’s game against Doncaster Rovers. There is, as ever, much going on around the club, both on and off the pitch.
On the pitch, the players had a five-day training camp in Barcelona, returning refreshed and in good spirits as we enter the hectic Christmas period.
We have progressed to the last 16 in the Checkatrade Trophy with a hard-fought victory at Gillingham. Alex Mowatt scored a superb winner and provided a great fillip for our amazing 70 or so fans who made the trip. The team were hugely appreciative and let’s hope the draw is kind to us!
The youth team have continued their progress in the FA Youth Cup and face Dagenham & Redbridge at Court Place Farm this Wednesday. Please come along and give them your support if you can.
You may have seen that we have deferred submitting our application for the WSL next season. Our commitment to supporting, promoting and developing our women’s team is undiminished and the decision was made purely because of a lack of clarity over the future format of the WSL. We will keep a watching brief and ensure any decision is in the best sustainable interests of the women’s team.
I am delighted to welcome Niall McWilliams as Managing Director of the club. Over the past few years, we have developed a good partnership with the Oxford Academy, where Niall and his team are doing a brilliant job in revitalising the school.
Niall’s leadership and management skills will be invaluable as we continue our focus on seeking continuous improvement on the operational side of the club. He will work alongside Benn, Kathy, Rich and Claire and we wish him success in his new role.
It would be remiss of me not to mention our very stylish Christmas jumpers which are on sale in the shop. Due to popular demand we have just put in a repeat order but stocks won’t last long!
Turning to today’s game, we face a Doncaster side who are in a good run of form. Our recent results have been a little inconsistent and it would be good to get back to winning ways at home.
We sit handily placed in the league and have one more point than at this stage last season. We had a stronger second half in 2017 and, with a similar run from now to the end of the season, we can still push for play-off contention.
From my perspective, some of our football is a joy to watch and this sentiment is echoed by the majority of fans I speak to.
Enjoy the game today and get behind the team.
You can read the whole programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc.