SAM Long is excited to see where Oxford United’s ambition takes them over the next three years.

The Bicester-born right back signed a new contract with his hometown team yesterday, keeping him with the U’s until summer 2024.

Intriguing noises have come out of the club in recent weeks, with United’s Indonesian investors looking to buy the majority stake and boss Karl Robinson stating his aim of building a ‘top-30 side in England’ in the next five years.

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In the short term, the U’s are hoping to reach the Sky Bet League One play-offs for the second successive season and host Shrewsbury Town tonight (7pm) in a must-win game.

Long has a deep affection for United, having joined at the age of eight, and is keen to help them progress.

The 26-year-old said: “Being a home-grown player I love being here, but I also love being at a club that has the drive to get into the higher divisions.

“As a player that’s what I want to do as well.

“I’m enjoying my time here, hopefully over the next three years we can push on and get into the Championship.”

The academy product made his debut at Accrington Stanley in April 2013, but injuries, loan moves and spells out of the side meant he only reached 100 appearances last November.

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Long has been a regular starter over the last couple of seasons, though, and is currently enjoying his best campaign to date, contributing goals and assists as well as defensively.

Being the longest-serving member of the squad brings its own responsibilities, but the defender is taking it in his stride.

Long said: “You look around the group now and I’m probably one of the oldest ones.

“It’s good to see, we’ve got a lot of good young talents in the building and if we can keep hold of them even better.

“I like to have that pressure, because I feel like it makes me perform better.”