Sunday’s 5-0 victory over Cheltenham Town Ladies saw Oxford United Women name a bench made up entirely of Under 20s. We caught up with Sammy Wynne, one of the youngsters playing a vital part in Oxford United Women’s perfect start to their campaign.
Sammy is the Development Squad captain but has recently featured in the first team with some of her peers.
“It’s been a great experience being involved with the first team,” Sammy told us. “There’s only so much you can learn from afar, so being involved gives me a much better insight into what it’s like to be a first-team player. The group is really close and you can see that with the performances on the pitch. Away trips like Plymouth only add to that and I really valued that experience.
“The step up is quite a big one. Your first touch has to be spot on, you have to think faster, and everything is quicker, in and out of possession. It’s a great challenge and I’m loving it because I can feel that my development will accelerate with more exposure to the first team environment.
“All of us younger players that are involved are still learning from each other. It gives me confidence to see our other youngsters do well because we’re all in it together. It’s also so important to learn from the more experienced girls and they’re all really good at talking us through the game to help us on the pitch.
“A whole part of women’s football is about inspiring the next generation, so it’s great to see so many young fans at our games. As a club, we put a lot of emphasis on going over to the fans at the end of a match to sign autographs and thank them for their support. It can help the young girls to know that one day it’ll be them playing for the first team.”
United face AFC Bournemouth Women in the cup this Sunday, and the younger members of the squad will be hoping this is yet another chance to experience some minutes in first-team football.