Ross Jenkins wants another big effort from Oxford City in pursuit of promotion

·2-min read
Oxford City reached the Vanarama National League South play-off semi-finals last season Picture: Mike Allen
Oxford City reached the Vanarama National League South play-off semi-finals last season Picture: Mike Allen

ROSS Jenkins called on Oxford City to keep their standards high as they embark on another promotion push.

The Vanarama National League South club finished fifth in 2021/22 and lost to Dorking Wanderers in the play-off semi-finals.

City reached that stage by beating Eastbourne Borough 2-0 in the eliminator tie and the sides meet at the RAW Charging Stadium on Saturday in the opening game of the campaign.

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Jenkins has now completed his first pre-season as head coach after taking over from David Oldfield in January, initially on an interim basis.

And the City boss feels his side are capable of challenging at the top again.

He said: “If you ask every manager, they want to do better than last season.

“I thought we achieved something, but something isn’t enough – we need to keep going.

“I don’t have many hobbies, so I watch a lot of football and I know where we want to be.

“I feel with this group of players and the club’s ambition we won’t be too far away.”

There has been a fair amount of turnover at City this summer, with nine players leaving and six arriving.

Eight members of last season’s squad have re-signed, including Canice Carroll, Josh Ashby and Joe Iaciofano, and Jenkins knows this group will be key in the campaign ahead.

He said: “We had a good spine and good strength in depth.

“It wasn’t a rebuild at all, we achieved something the club hasn’t done and it’s important we keep the good characters around.

“I’m not saying the boys who went weren’t good characters, but I wanted to keep the spine together and add a bit around it.

“The boys we retained are really important to this football club; they play for the badge, the club and the community and they’re well-liked by the fans.

“The fans enjoy what’s on the pitch and every player we retained gives 110 per cent every game and that’s the minimum expectation.”

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