Read Tiger's programme notes from the opening game of the season against Peterborough United
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming to support us against Peterborough United. I am so proud to be here to see Karl’s new team in action for the new season and I am sure they will want to get that first win on the board for you all today.
I thought we were a little unlucky not to win at Sunderland last weekend. The team looked strong, the new players fitted in straight away and if Rob Dickie’s header had counted then we would have had a priceless 2-0 lead which would have made it very hard for the home side to come back. I was still frustrated not to win but I guess a point on the opening day, away from home, has to be a positive.
There have been so many more positives this summer and I would like to highlight a few here, if I may. Our recruitment board are particularly strong and have added some very good players to a squad that finished last season in great form. As I type this, we are still working on a couple more players; you know which positions, obviously! But we feel we have done very good business and have a stronger squad than at this stage last season.
Off the field we are also in a much better position, 12 months on. At this time last year, we were training at Bisham Abbey because we had no permanent training base. This year we have a great facility which has a unique atmosphere: I invited some of the members of OxVox and other supporters to come and see it yesterday because there is a really great bond between all of the staff and players plus the Academy and I want fans to see the fantastic work that is happening there.
The Training Ground was one of several unexpected costs for us last season. I don’t say ‘unforeseen’ because you always know that there will be added costs when you buy a football club. Since then we have built a Board of Directors who have huge experience in sport and business and who will be here today to cheer on the team and see the passion of the fans. Like me, all they want is to share a successful season with those supporters.
I was very happy to see Karl agree a new contract because he is central to what we are building here. He has such energy and so many ideas and works so well with the coaching staff plus the Academy and Community sides of the club. Those are key to our plans and continue to make massive progress.
So, as I said at the start, there are plenty of reasons to be positive and to be optimistic as we prepare for our first home game. All I ask is for everyone to stick together and remain supportive. It is a long season and although we will share some great moments, we know there will be tough moments too. If that happens, we need everyone to be strong and pull together even harder, but today let’s start as we mean to go on, with a winning performance and everyone smiling as we leave the ground. I will be at the game this afternoon, but even when I am in Thailand I always watch the games on iFollow and I am there with you in spirit, willing the team on to victory. I am also in daily contact with every department at the club, speaking and listening to as many staff members as possible.
Get behind us,
Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc