JON Meades is loving every second of pre-season as the midfielder looks to put his injury nightmare firmly in the past.
The 22-year-old came off the bench in the 1-0 defeat against Wolves on Tuesday night, almost a year to the day since his last appearance at the Kassam Stadium.
Back then, an innocuous-looking fall against Coventry City left the Welshman with ruptured ankle ligaments, which ruled him out of the entire season.
Now fully recovered, Meades is savouring being back in the squad as he attempts to win a place in the side for next weekend’s League Two opener against Burton Albion.
He said: “I’m taking each training session as it comes and just enjoying it.
“When you’re out for a year, it’s crazy how much you miss it. Before the injury I almost took it for granted, but I realise now how important it is to give your best.
“I felt really good against Wolves and playing at this pace hopefully shows I’m ready.”
The lengthy spell on the sidelines meant he did not play a competitive game for either the manager who brought him to the U’s, Chris Wilder, or his successor, Gary Waddock.
But Meades believes the expansive style new head coach Michael Appleton is looking to implement suits his game.
He said: “It’s the type of football I like to play and I’m really happy with him.
“I think all the lads are delighted with the way he’s approached pre-season.”
United’s final pre-season game sees Meades’s former club Bournemouth visit the Kassam on Saturday.
He said: “They’re a very good side who will pass it even more than Wolves did, so it will be a different test.”
*OXFORD United are holding their Family Fun Day on Sunday and we are looking for five readers to take part in the Oxford Mail’s penalty competition.
The shoot-out at the club’s Roman Way training ground will take place at 11.30am.
To be in with a chance of taking part, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address and contact telephone number by 6pm tonight.
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest United news: