WELCOME to a new weekly feature in conjunction with the Oxford United fan groups OxVox and Oxford United Supporters’ Panel (OUSP), as we hear from them throughout the summer on all manner of U’s matters.

We’ll be getting views from the two groups on a range of subjects, including topics on and off the pitch.

Those may include the summer transfer window, hopes and ambitions for the 2023/24 season, favourite moments following United, and the ongoing stadium project.

This week, we caught up with OxVox member Simon Hathaway, who discusses how a new stadium can positively impact the whole of Oxfordshire.

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This week saw the publication on the OUFC Stadium website of some more information about the proposed new stadium at The Triangle.

Included were how the club intends to meet the county council’s seven strategic priorities, a community pledge highlighting how the club plans to provide benefits to the local and wider communities, and a new stadium project vision document.

The timing of the release of these documents, at the beginning of the summer months between seasons, provides an additional sense of excitement for fans.

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No matter how bad the previous season might have been, the break gives us the opportunity to reset. To put the (successful) fight for survival in League One behind us and focus on the season ahead. A blank slate. A chance for the new manager to put his stamp on the team and the club.

The new stadium gives us a similar opportunity. A chance to put the mistakes of the past behind us, and to ensure those mistakes aren’t repeated.

The history of the move from the Manor Ground, the protracted move to the Kassam Stadium, and the split of club and stadium, have been written about in more detail than we have space for here, but the club has been held back by the situation that we now have a chance to put right.

I live in the South East of the county, and I bumped into a fellow Oxford United fan who lives nearby a couple of days ago.

The chat was about hopes for the new season, and about the stadium project.

I currently drive to most home games. It’s just so much easier than taking public transport. But we both said we’d be taking the train from Haddenham and Thame Parkway should the new stadium get the go ahead.

Much of the county is a short journey to a train station, where the trip to Oxford Parkway would make getting to Oxford games a doddle.

We’re currently the second furthest stadium of the 92 league clubs from a train/tube/tram station. A stadium at The Triangle would mean we’re the second closest of the 92.

I was born a couple of miles away from The Triangle site. I’ve lived in Oxfordshire most of my life. It’s a county I’m very proud to say I’m from.

The university is known the world over. But Oxford and Oxfordshire aren’t just the university. It’s the car factory, producing the iconic Mini. It’s Inspector Morse. It’s Supergrass, Ride and Radiohead. It’s the football club.

You don’t need to have gone to one of the colleges (I didn’t) to see that they’re an important part of Oxfordshire. You don’t have to drive a Mini (although I do) to know it’s an integral part of the county.

The new stadium is an opportunity to secure the future of an integral part of Oxfordshire, and bring much-needed facilities and jobs to the immediate area.

The new stadium wouldn’t just mean football matches being played there. It would allow the club to build on the tremendous work it does in Oxfordshire.

You don’t need to go to games, or even be a fan of the club, to understand how important it is to the county.

The new stadium can help the club to positively impact Oxfordshire.