My prophetic letter to the players

I had this published in the “Fanzone” section of the official matchday programme two seasons ago.  While it didn’t come to much that season, it seems vaguely prophetic for the season we’ve just had!………

Dear Players,

We the Oxford United Fans would like to let you know our pledge of support and our expectations of you.  These words are meant for you all, it matters not whether you are contract or on loan.  Once you wear that yellow shirt you are inheriting our history, our pride and you will receive our full support:

Our Pledge of Support:

We will get behind you in every game; we will be the “extra man”.  If we go a goal behind then we will sing louder (unless we are in the South Stand and then we will clap louder).  We will out-sing our rivals.  We will follow you to the coldest, remotest of places at the most inconvenient of times to be there for you.  We will endure road works, long burger kiosk queues and spend a fortune on petrol and entrance fees to do this.  We will do this in numbers, never wavering, always loyal and passionate to the cause.

Our Expectation of You:

You will be United.  On the pitch you will fight for every ball and cause, always playing with your heart for every minute of the game.  You will work for each other and never give up.  There is only one captain, but you are all leaders; leading by example in effort.  You will be committed to your training, to your fitness and to your manager.  You will be faced by teams who are playing at 110% because it is you that they are playing against, but your determination must be greater than theirs in EVERY game.

Whether your ambition is success at this club, or just climbing the football ladder, then doing everything we expect of you is surely the ONLY path to achieving that ambition.  Aside from your long term ambitions you will enjoy the sheer elation of winning week in and week out. 

Do this enough and you may finish the season celebrating promotion.  Imagine yourself at the end of the season on an open top bus around the streets of Oxford with pavements lined with adoring fans.  ALL of this can be yours, and we the fans are committed to doing everything we can to ensure you achieve it.