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Tiger's Notes For Wimbledon

United Chairman writes in the AFC Wimbledon programme

29 December 2021

Oxford United Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth wrote the following notes for the AFC Wimbledon programme:

After 20 months away, I was very happy to spend some time with our players and all the staff and I can now say that I have seen Oxford United play again! Not just that, but I also had chance to see Oxford United Women play as well.

As you know, I was at home in Thailand for the whole of 2021. It is not so hard to stay in touch with everyone at the football club and we speak all the time, but in the week before Christmas I was able to come over and, once all the tests had been completed, visit the training ground in the build up to the Wigan game. That was strange; as I walked towards the door Luke McNally was walking away: “I tested positive,” he said, and soon after there were three other players leaving to self-isolate.

I am happy to say that the protocols are very strict around the players. But I do want to send my love and best wishes to the players affected and to their families. If I may, I would like to extend that to any Oxford fans who were also affected in the last two weeks. Christmas is a time for families, and I hope as many of you as possible were able to enjoy time together at the end of a very difficult year.

The second thing I wondered, maybe selfishly, was whether I had flown in to the UK to see a game of football and it was going to be cancelled! Karl has a fantastic attitude to this, and as long as everyone can be safe then he wants to play games and try to overcome the odds. We had so many problems with Covid, injuries and suspensions, but we wanted to play Wigan: no hiding, just give it a go.

I think I will always remember that game because it was a fantastic example of spirit and determination. To come back from 2-0 down and get to 2-2 was amazing, and to finally lose the game was cruel. The players deserved more in the circumstances, but if they fight like that every week then 2022 will be good for us all.

The next day, I went to see the women play at home to Ipswich and the same spirit was there as well. Ipswich had won every game and only conceded three times all season. But Liam Gilbert’s side were the better team right from the start, and you could see the same togetherness that I saw 24 hours earlier at the men’s game. I loved the game, and if fans want to make a New Year’s resolution, then maybe ‘go to at least one Oxford United Women’s game’ would be a rewarding one.

Finally, I want to thank everyone I met that week. The kindness and friendliness from fans was amazing and made me feel at home again straightaway. Please look after each other, stay safe, and I will see you again soon.

Tiger

You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc

 


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