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"Logistically it's much, much better for us..." - Mark Jones

"Logistically it's much, much better for us..." - Mark Jones

By Oxford City FC
10th June
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The City manager shares his thoughts on City's return to the South


Having started his preparations for the National League North, it rather came as a surprise to the City boss to hear the news, particularly considering his whereabouts:

"It was a surprise to get the news that we were put back in the National League South. We weren't expecting it: I think Justin received a call on Friday where he was informed and he passed the message on to me while I was away on holiday."

"Logistically its much, much better for us in terms of the players and the distance they're travelling to games. The travel is far less in the South and that helps us in general as a club."

However, it's a rather big change to adapt to, considering Jones had his eyes set on the North:

"I would like to say, though, that we were looking forward to going into the North once we got our heads around it – we were looking forward to playing against some different sides and some quite big sides. It wasn't something that we were totally against, but these types of decisions are completely out of our hands.

We're governed by whatever the National League decide to do and they've decided to put us back into the South, but that's the right decision. The majority of people would say that Oxford is a City in the South, and to be going and travelling some of the distances we would have had to in the North would have been a test for us. A lot of the players are, I think, particularly pleased."

The City boss says that the players are ready to play in whichever league they are put in:

"Overall I think its worked out well. Its been a little bit unsettling in terms of not knowing which league we would be in, then it being confirmed that we were in the North and having to have lengthy discussions with players which caused us a few headaches which we wouldn't have had if we had known we would be in the South right from the start. We're prepared to play in any league, but hopefully now we can stay where we are and have a good season."

"I believe we're putting together a really competitive squad. I felt there were a lot of encouraging signs last year and I never felt like we were a million miles away from where we wanted to be. With the addition of another two or three players who we're working very hard to bring in I'm expecting our squad to do well in the National League South next year."

Finally, he knows that the competition will not be easy:

"There have been some good clubs come into the league – Maidstone and Havant will be a challenge now that they've come down – and then you've got the likes of Weymouth and Dorking whoa re on great runs. It'll be a very tough league and I expect it to be quite a tight, open league again."

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