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Des Buckingham's First Day

New Gaffer meets the players

20 November 2023

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There was a busy first day for Des Buckingham today as he took charge of the U’s for the first time.

Having been formally announced as Head Coach on Friday, Des met the players for the first time this morning and took charge of training as the squad starts to look ahead to Saturday’s game at Cheltenham.

“It’s been good to meet everyone and spend the day at the Training Ground” he said. “I was here Friday for media duties and it was the first time I’ve really had a look round. It’s really impressive and today was the first day I saw how it operates day to day: players reporting in, when they use the gym, how we use the analysis theatre, all of the day to day details.


“After the staff meeting we held a meeting with the players just as an introduction. There was no big presentation because I’m not going to come in and chop and change things too much, definitely not on the first day. That’s not what’s needed because the team is doing so well and standards are already very high.

“We held a staff meeting first thing and I was struck by how many familiar faces there are here, people I know and trust and who get the culture and the history of the club and the city. Over time we will tweak things and build on what we have but the whole club seems to be in good shape.

“I went to watch the youth team on Friday night and then I came to watch the younger age groups in their games on Sunday and that ‘one club’ thing is so important.

“I think when any Manager comes in the players want to impress and training was excellent today. It’s not as though I am inheriting a team who are struggling, we have lost one in ten games so that’s a great place to start from. We were without the players who are away on international duty but they will slot back into the group later in the week and everything we do will be geared towards the game at Cheltenham on Saturday and making sure we get a positive result.

“I want to thank the staff and the players for the welcome today but also thank the fans for the welcome over the weekend. It has been amazing. For a local lad to come home and get such a reception is incredibly humbling, something I’ll never forget and today the work really begins to try and get this club to where I believe it should be.”des-coaching-3.jpg


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