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Club News

Focus On: Oxford United

27 June 2016

Club News

Focus On: Oxford United

27 June 2016

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United were promoted from League Two last season

Name: Oxford United Football Club
Founded: 1893
Stadium: The Kassam Stadium
Capacity: 12,500
Manager: Michael Appleton
Last season: Second in League Two (Promoted)

Promotion from League Two as runners-up last season means that Oxford United will play their football back in the third-tier for the first time in 12 years when they host Chesterfield at the Kassam Stadium on the opening day.

Michael Appleton’s side were promoted on the final day of the regular season in May, beating Wycombe Wanderers 3-0 on home soil, courtesy of second-half goals from Cheyenne Dunkley, Chris Maguire and Callum O’Dowda.

It was a first promotion at management level for the 40-year-old Salford native, who has been in charge at Oxford since July 2014.

As a player, Appleton spent two-years in Manchester United’s academy, prior to earning a professional contract at Old Trafford in 1994.

In his three-years as a professional at the club, he would make two appearances for Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, both in the League Cup.

In 1997, Appleton made the move to Deepdale, where he signed for Preston North End for a then club record fee of £500,000.

The midfielder became a key component in the Lilywhites squad, making 145 appearances and helping North End to a Third Division championship in 2000.

In January 2001, he swapped Lancashire for the West Midlands, when he joined West Bromwich Albion, and made 33 appearances in two-years at the Hawthorns, but unfortunately had to retire due to an injury.

After retiring, Appleton remained at the Baggies in a coaching capacity, and worked his way up from managing Albion’s youth teams, to being caretaker manager of the first-team when Roberto Di Matteo was dismissed in 2011.

He remained an assistant under Roy Hodgson, before taking his first management position at Portsmouth in November 2011, though he was unable to prevent the Fratton Park club being relegated from the Championship.

Brief spells at Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers followed the following season, ahead of him becoming Oxford manager two summers ago.

Since his appointment at the U’s, Oxford finished 13th in his first season, before collecting 86 points last term in a promotion winning campaign.

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