CALLUM O'Dowda has said it was a hard decision to leave Oxford United after signing for Bristol City this afternoon.

The 21-year-old joined the Sky Bet Championship club for a fee believed to be worth up to £1.6m.

O'Dowda had been absent from United's pre-season tour to Spain this week with illness, but after his move to the Robins he posted a statement on his Twitter page.

"It was such a hard decision for me to leave my hometown club," he tweeted. 

"Oxford United has been my home for 13 years and has shaped me into the footballer I am today.

"I came through the youth system and I hope I can be an inspiration to any footballer who wants to do well for the football club.

"I was given the opportunity to play professional football and since then I have had nothing short of fantastic support from my teammates (past and present), the manager, coaches and the support staff.

"Above all, I would like to thank the fans.

"Since my debut I have had non-stop encouragement from them.

"We will always have that special connection as I was once and still am a fan of the football club.

"This season in particular has been brilliant and I have many memories, including my goal at Wembley, the last-minute Notts County goal and the final goal of the 2015/16 season.

"I would like to thank everyone involved at Oxford United as it has been a fantastic season and we achieved exactly what we aimed for – promotion to League One.

"I wish Oxford United every success for the future and will never forget my time at this great club."