Post-Wembley musings and a look forward to the future

Good players leaving, long journeys, poor results, underperforming teams. In truth, the gallows humour and shared misery are often as well remembered as the good times, but occasionally the stars align, footballing gods smile down, and we are given something really special.

The joys of a great start. Automatic promotion places looking temptingly reachable. Form unsteady but results still coming. And then the man promising to lead us forward promises himself to another.

Results stutter and our new local hero struggles to manage the transition of an overperforming team into one in his own mould. The process is slow and not without some heartache and grumbles from some, lulled into a false sense of security in the upper reaches of the table.

LISTED: Every player released by Premier League clubs this summer

A fanbase disconnected from the club they love and the club perhaps too focused on how to make us a ‘top 30 club’ rather than the most vital cog in the whole process. The supporters.

Communication is one of the most important issues that OxVox have pushed for in my time with the supporters’ trust.

Grant Ferguson and Tim Williams recognised that and held the fans’ forum we had long been asking for. Those voices were heard, and that moment was built upon.

A new resolve appeared within the playing staff and after the rude awakening of the beating by Bolton, we started to see the whole club moving forward with a momentum that proved impossible to stop.

Wembley was a festival of everything that was good about the way this club has been moving forward. Optimism, tempered by healthy realism. Supporters massing at Oxford Parkway, patient and in good humour.

Eleven thousand of the same supporters we are told by some that would never use trains to go to football games. Seventeen thousand in total estimated by Chiltern Railways, all without incident or the chaos predicted by some. More than the capacity of the new stadium due to be built just across the road.

From Wembley the team came home, and to me this was almost a better day. While I bear-hugged many an old friend and stranger after the game in celebration, the homecoming was something else. The joy of seeing our city turn out was something else.

We are so proud of this county, and at the parade the county showed how important their team was to them.

This is something I fear that those that oppose our move and the safeguarding of our club in its own home will never quite understand. The sense of community. The shared experience. The pride and the passion. Young children given heroes of physical excellence to draw them away from reality TV personalities and online stars. To encourage them into sports, social activity and a pride in their county.

These are heady days. Let’s grasp them and draw every ounce of energy out of them. We must make sure our club, our community and our young will have a place to come where dreams can come true. For one magical day London was yellow. This county remains united.

Looking forward

Earlier this week we had a Zoom call with the club about season ticket arrangements for next season.

As an independent supporters’ trust (to join OxVox, visit https://oxvox.org.uk/join-oxvox/), it is not our job to ‘beat the drum’ for the club, but we are happy to acknowledge the positive spirit of discussions and we hope that supporters will be pleasantly surprised at the plans in place.

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