Good afternoon everybody and welcome back. There is nothing quite as exciting as a brand-new football season and I would like to welcome the directors, staff, management, players and supporters of Crystal Palace and thank them for coming to Oxford.
I was lucky enough to travel to Ireland with the players the other week when pre-season kicked off and I was struck by how hard working and together they are as a group. Not just the players but also Karl and his backroom team. Over the summer we have added Shaun Derry to the coaching staff and also brought in a number of new players, as well as establishing an under 23 side headed by Chris Allen, which I believe is essential to the future of Oxford United.
When you add in the fantastic new training ground which we will move in to in the next week or two, new commercial partners in Singha, an international brand like Puma to provide the excellent new kit and Matt Everett joining to boost the marketing of the club and launch the new membership scheme, then I hope you begin to see the amount of hard work and planning that has gone on this summer.
Today is just a first step towards what we believe will be a very exciting season for everyone who shares our passion for Oxford United. For once there is no pressure on the result this afternoon. Instead, it is a chance to enjoy watching Karl’s side take on Premier League opposition. I have no doubt that we will push them all the way, but the real aim is to keep building and preparing, first for the game at Barnsley on 4th August and then for the first home game against Fleetwood on 11th August.
Help us start as we mean to go on. Bring your friends and family, get behind the team and let’s make that first league game one to remember.
Enjoy the game,