Oxford United Chairman Sumrith 'Tiger' Thanakarnjanasuth wrote the following programme notes for the Sky Bet League One game against Cambridge United:
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the first home game of what we hope will be another very exciting season. Oxford against Cambridge has a nice sound to it for a first home game and we hope our visitors from the other university town enjoy their afternoon with us.
Since our last game back in April a lot has changed at the club, all designed to make us stronger. Karl and the recruitment team have built a very strong squad, and adding players like Stuart Findlay, Ciaron Brown, Ed McGinty, Jodi Jones, Josh Murphy and Yanic Wildschut to a squad where we hope Marcus Browne and Sam Baldock will have a major impact after last season’s injuries is a very promising start. Karl knows he has the support and backing of the whole Board and there may be one or two new faces by the time you read this, certainly before the end of the window.
Off the field we have invested heavily in the training ground and I am pleased to see our friends from Bangkok Glass extend their partnership to become shirt sponsors as well as Training Centre partners as well as the continued support from Chaokoh and Polythene UK. We have brand new pitches, we have a superb new gym and there are so many new ideas and pieces of equipment to help the players prepare and recover from what is always a physically tough season.
I was lucky enough to spend some time around Karl and the players in pre-season and their spirit and togetherness are as strong as ever. I saw the support they received at Derby last weekend, and I think we are in good shape, especially with 5,000 season tickets sold and fans backing the team in numbers again.
In the background we are working towards that new stadium, which has to be our aim at all times, but that will not distract us from our more immediate job of getting this club into the Championship.
That will not be easy. I heard people saying: ‘how do we compete with Derby, Ipswich, Portsmouth, Sheffield Wednesday?’ Well, I tell you, those clubs will be looking at us just as much and wondering how they will compete with a team that never stops running, that scores so many goals, that believes in each other and that has sold-out support at home and away.
We have a good combination: last week Cameron Brannagan signed a new three-year contract, and earlier this week James Henry signed a new deal on the same day that Gatlin O’Donkor became a professional. You need that mixture of experience and youth if you are going to have success right now and further success in the future.
Of course, losing the first game hurt everyone, but do not let that affect your hopes and dreams for this season. Enjoy the occasion, enjoy being back, and most of all give your full support to Karl and the players today. Home form is so important. Let’s start as we mean to go on.
You can read the full programme online at www.matchdayfix.com/oufc