This week saw the appointment of Chris Allen as Manager of the new Under 23 side at Oxford United and Chairman Sumrith “Tiger” Thanakarnjanasuth has been telling us how pleased he is to see Chris get his chance with the new side.
The Under 23 team will bridge the gap between the youth team and first team and Tiger believes the U’s have the ideal man in charge.
“I would like to congratulate Chris on his new role” Tiger said. “He has been a very loyal servant to this club first as a player and then on the coaching side and in my eyes this is effectively a deserved promotion for him because the new under 23 side is a key part of our plans for the future of the club.
“Dan Harris is doing very well with the Academy and there is a new purpose and energy about that; we welcome Darren Purse back to the club this summer to coach the under 16s, which is another very good appointment. Then the under 18s are in excellent hands with Leon Blackmore-Such and Chris Hackett, and that leads in to the new Under 23 squad which we are building.
“Five scholars will step up into that squad along with the likes of Malachi Napa, Shandon Baptiste and Manny Agboola and we have also been holding trials and looking further afield for exciting players with the potential to join us, all with the aim of players progressing into the first team.
“Chris Allen has a proven track record in helping young players improve and progress. He is a strong character who the players respect, but he is also a very highly regarded coach who we believe will suit this role perfectly.
“He will continue to work closely with Karl Robinson and the first team and having spoken to him I know how excited he is by this opportunity. With the new training ground we will have fantastic facilities, and I believe the Under 23 side will play an important role not just this season but for the long term development of Oxford United.”