Oxford United’s new Head Coach Des Buckingham came home to Oxford today, heading straight for the Bangkok Glass Training Ground for the first time as he takes over the reins at the club he has supported since he was a little boy.
“It has been quite a journey in every possible way” he told us soon after he arrived at the Training Ground.
“On the football side of things I remember my first day as a scholar and training with the youth team. The facilities here now are very different - we used to train at a school, nowhere near the First Team for most of the time. The club has moved forward so much and it’s a really impressive set up now, a fantastic place to work each day.
“I loved playing and was OK as a goalkeeper but I always enjoyed talking to the coaches and I started to coach for the Community team and gradually that side of things interested me more and more. Micky Lewis encouraged me and I was fortunate to work with Alan Hodgkinson who was a Legend and became a mentor. I took the keepers at Oxford for a few sessions but didn’t want to be a specialist Goalkeeping Coach in particular and so I worked hard, got qualifications, gained experience and my career has taken me to some amazing places.
“I want to thank everyone at Mumbai. That is an incredible place to live and work and the football club and their fans have been amazing with me. I loved it there and wish them nothing but success, but this is my home town, my club, and a wonderful opportunity to come home.
“I’ve met the people behind the scenes today, we’ve looked at a few things and I’ll talk to the coaches and staff over the weekend then we will meet the players and take training for the first time on Monday. It’s such a family club and it felt like being home straight away. It just feels right.
“It was a bit weird to get on a flight for 10 hours then the moment I got off the plane my phone went absolutely crazy with messages. I am so humbled by the reception that the Oxford fans have given me, truly grateful for all the kind words and now it is up to me to repay the faith they have shown in me, and the Board’s trust, and build on what has been a very strong start to the season.”
See a first interview with Des in iFollow very soon.