OXFORD City skipper Reece Fleet has become the first player to commit to next season after the club’s historic promotion earlier this month.

Fleet opened the scoring as the Hoops powered past St Albans City, winning 4-0 in the Vanarama National League South play-off final.

With the game still not three minutes in, Fleet collected the ball from Zac McEachran on the edge of the penalty box and fired home a low, first-time shot into the bottom right corner.

McEachran, Josh Ashby and Josh Parker added further first half strikes as Ross Jenkins’ side brushed aside St Albans in front of a record crowd of 3,100 at Court Place Farm.

The victory ensured City will competing in the National League next season, the highest level the club has ever played at.

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Fleet will be entering his ninth season with the Hoops after a stellar campaign for the 31-year-old midfielder.

He said: “I’m delighted, it was a no-brainer for me really.

“I had a brief discussion with the gaffer and it didn’t take long, I’m looking forward to next season and I’m excited for what it’s going to bring.

“I’ve been at the club a long time – I know the club and the club know me, I’d like to think it’s a good fit.

“It’s a collective and we’ve got a great group of lads here, and if we can keep everyone together, we know next season’s going to be tough and we’re going to be underdogs but we’ll relish the challenge of being underdogs.

“It’s a bit of an unknown for us all, it’s the first time we’ve been at this level so it’s going to be a bit different.

“Everyone’s looking forward to it and it’s going to be great – we’re not just here to make the numbers, we’ll attack it and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

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Fleet added: “We’ve got a great group of lads and a great core.

“I think the togetherness that we’ve shown during tough periods in the league last season helped us get through some stages.

“We’ve got good quality and good characters, and hopefully we can keep the group together and go again next season.”

During the 2022/23 campaign, Fleet rose to ninth in City’s list of all-time appearance makers, while he also completed the most passes out of any player in National League South, with 2,306. Of those, 851 were forward passes.

His overall total was 161 more than Worthing midfielder Kane Wills, who Fleet came up against in the play-off semi-final this season.

The Hoops won that clash 2-0, courtesy of goals from McEachran and Alfie Potter.

On entering his ninth campaign with City and climbing into the top 10 appearance makers for the club, Fleet said: “I’m enjoying playing games and they soon add up.

“Time flies and it’s my ninth season coming up, it’s absolutely flown by and it’s great to be a part of it again next season – I’m buzzing for it.”