Deane Smalley admitted he and the other new faces were mightily impressed by the huge turnout from Oxford United fans at the club’s Open Day.

More than 2,000 U’s supporters got their first chance to see Chris Wilder’s summer signings on Saturday as they took part in a training session on the Kassam Stadium pitch.

And the players then spent well over an hour signing autographs as the countdown to the new season firmly started.

With the new home shirt also on sale, it was a great day for United fans, whose attendance certainly did not go unnoticed by the players.

“What a fantastic turnout of fans,” Smalley said. “It was only a training session, but for what looked well over 2,000 to turn up is just brilliant.

“If that support continues and grows through the season, it will really help the players because there were just so many here just to watch us train.”

Smalley said that now the first week of pre-season training is behind them, the players are starting to get that buzz ahead of the new season.

The U’s play their first friendly at Didcot Town on Saturday, before heading to America for a nine-day trip, which includes three more games.

And striker Smalley, who played against Oxford last season while on loan at Chesterfield, said that he couldn’t wait.

“It was a really difficult first couple of days of training,” he admitted.

“The gaffer certainly put us through our paces, but we are into it now.

“We had the ball out towards the end of the week and it was great – we’re all really in the swing of it now.

“The lads just can’t wait to get going. We start next Saturday and whether we play 45 minutes or 90 minutes – it depends how the manager wants to do it – we’re all itching to get going and play some games.”

Smalley was one of five new faces to take part in the annual supporters v players penalty shoot-out, organised by the Oxford Mail.

And after defeats for the last two years, the players got back to winning ways with a 3-2 success – Tony Capaldi, Andy Whing and Jon-Paul Pittman all scoring.

Marcus Hall and Charlie Forkner were on target for the fans.