Next season will see Oxford United once again looking to the future with the development of an Under 23 side.
The new squad will form a link that aims make the transition from youth team to first team football easier, with more regular, competitive games against clubs from various leagues and levels.
Chris Allen will be in charge of the team and told us:
“I think it’s a sign of intent from the club and a really exciting development. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of looking after those players and working with them; I am passionate about helping young footballers improve and make their way in to the first team and there is nothing better than seeing a player you have worked with go on and establish himself as a professional.
“I loved my time helping the likes of Sam Long and Callum O’Dowda step up from the youth team and seeing players like Malachi Napa develop not just as a player but also a person is really uplifting. I know the fans feel the same too.
“With the new training ground we have first class facilities and room for everyone to flourish. We looked at going into a league but decided that for now we want to give players a wider range of opponents: it could be against a Category 1 Academy or against a non-league side. Playing different types of games is all going to help their development and having the flexibility to arrange our fixtures is important at this stage.
“We have five youngsters who we have offered pro deals to, we held trials this week to look at other options and I think it is another sign of positive thinking from the club, a commitment to building something for the future. I am genuinely excited and looking forward to coming back and getting this new project under way.”