Will Vaulks on what he hopes to bring to Oxford United

Victory in last month’s Sky Bet League One play-off final ensures United will be playing in the second tier of English football for the first time in 25 years next season.

There is a sprinkling of Championship experience in the U’s squad already, but Vaulks arrives having played at that level in six of the last eight seasons.

In the two campaigns he wasn’t playing in the Championship (2017/18 and 2022/23), Vaulks won promotion via the League One play-offs, with Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

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The 30-year-old said: “I’m really happy to get it done. I’ve known about it for the last two weeks, and I’ve been really impressed by the football club.

“It’s nice to be down here, and get it done nice and early. I can get the family down and moved into the area, and I’m looking forward to the season ahead.

“I’ve been really impressed by the ownership, and by Ed [Waldron, head of recruitment] and the manager, and the way they have a structure in place.

“It feels like a club that wants to go in the right direction, which is impressive. Hopefully the club is on a journey upwards, and it seems that way from the outside.”

He added: “They want me to come in and bring my experience of playing in the Championship for most of my career.

“It’ll help the players that maybe haven’t played at that level. I’ll always give everything for the shirt, and that’s what they want, and I think the experience plays a big part in it.

“I wasn’t waiting for something else once I’d spoken to Oxford and made my decision that I wanted to come down here.

“It was a really easy process, and I thank the club for the way they’ve dealt with things, because it’s been really good. Now it’s all sorted, we can look forward.

“At 30, I wanted to commit to a club for a longer period of time and move my family down, and commit to Oxford United.

“That’s what we’ve been able to do, and now we’ll do the boring stuff, and pack up the house in Sheffield, get down here, and get settled.

“Then the football can thrive. Once your family life is sorted and your kids are happy, I can be a better player.

“It’s nice to get it done early and have a few weeks before we go in for pre-season.”

Discussing what he’ll look to bring to United, Vaulks said: “What you’ll get from me is that I’ll give the club everything. I’ll go into every match with full intensity. I will work harder than anybody on the pitch and make sure that I give my all.

“I hope you see a player that has got a little bit of everything. I like to get in amongst it, break up play, and allow the forward players to go and cause problems, and also play a bit of football alongside that as well.”

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