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FOOTBALL: City are up
Oxford City boss Mike Ford saluted his players after they clinched promotion from the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division with a 4-2 win against AFC Totton, and said the first priority next season is to stay up.
Goals from Felipe Barcelos, Steve Basham (penalty), Kynan Isaac and substitute Albi Skendi gave City a well-merited victory in their play-off final at Court Place Farm yesterday.
And it will see City ply their trade in either Blue Square Bet South or North next season.
“It’s a very proud moment for the football club and for myself and more importantly the players,” said Ford.
“I don’t think they will realise what they have done until they finish playing. And for some that’s a long time. We’re very proud of what we have achieved.
“For me it’s a time for reflection. This was totally unexpected. We have taken everybody by surprise, I think we’ve taken ourselves by surprise.
“Once we had the realisation among the group and a club that we were good enough, that seemed to galvanise us.
“Our performances in recent weeks have been fantastic. Our results have been second to none and of all the top sides only Brackley’s have been better than us.”
Ford added: “That’s six out of six play-off wins and it’s something I’m really proud of.”
As for next season, he said: “I think we’ve got to stay in it. I don’t think we should have any other pretensions than staying in it.
“I’ve got players here that are good enough and I obviously need to add to it.
“I will see what finance there is to do that.”
City chairman Brian Cox added: “It’s the pinnacle for me at the moment.
“What a fantastic season. With us winning this, Oxford City Nomads winning their league and we build this new facility (the £2.1m community arena) here.
“I think it’s a great reward for the people behind the scenes. I know the players and the management have done it, but people put in a lot of hard work which isn’t seen.”