The dust has hardly had time to settle since the Spring Series ended but the Oxford United Women’s team are looking to come back stronger than ever when their new WSL2 season kicks off in September.
The Spring Series bridged a gap as the Women’s game made the transition from summer to winter football, with the U’s giving their talented local youngsters an opportunity to shine. Now the planning and hard work is under way for the new league, starting in September.
The U’s will go into the season with the biggest playing budget they have ever had since obtaining WSL status.
Ruth Senior, Oxford United Women’s General Manager, said “We put a proposal to the board for a top 6 finish and they were in full support of the investment. The club had also heavily invested in off-pitch developments which we hope to announce over the next couple of weeks. It’s a really exciting time for Oxford United Women.”
The playing budget will allow Oxford United Women to bring in a few new faces to try and push on from the tremendous progress they have made over the last few years.
Manager Andy Cook told us:
“The Spring Season was important for us to assess what we had and where we wanted to be, but now that has finished we can really start to outline our plans for next season.
“The first thing we have done since we finished was to sit down with each player and speak with them about how they felt the season has gone and to outline our plans for next season. We’ve worked quickly, the Doncaster game was on the Sunday and the meetings started at 10am on the Monday. The players can now get away for a break and we look forward to welcoming them for pre-season.
“Since day one I have had a list of players we are tracking as a club and we are now looking to bring these players in. The board has approved the investment to bring in the quality we would like; the current players know this and are excited to be challenged on the training ground next season.
“Oxford has invested in a full time structure with myself and Ruth in place on the management side of things. We are looking to increase our contact and training time to make sure each player will be making the most of dual careers through either working or education and training. We also have an exciting new partnership with Oxford Brookes who are supporting us with this side.
“Our aim is to finish in the top 6, no one will give us a chance but I like that! Since I have come in, we have begun to change the culture and understanding of what is required and what it means to be a player for Oxford United Women.
“If we can get this right from the top, which I believe we now have the resources to do, this will start to filter down and over time help the talent pathway in Oxford to provide us with the very best players and people for the first team.
“The people, staff and players here at Oxford have been fantastic to work with and they already can't wait to get started for next season.