Its Oxford…

Oxford United booked a return to League 2 beating York City 3-1 at Wembley this afternoon.

From a Dons perspective this is probably the better outcome, Oxford are light years ahead of us in terms of budget, and probably will be for years to come regardless of rumours of budget cuts that may or may not have happened had Oxford stayed in the BSP. Although for us the move to professional football is going to require a settling in period which may not make us immediate serious challengers, and we still face the strong challenge of sides like York, Rushden and of course Luton, Oxford’s promotion removes an obstacle that may have halted our progress over the next couple of years, or at very least created an obstacle for a team above that then become our obstacle, like being the second behind a broken down tube train on the hottest day of the year if you see where I’m coming from…

In terms of favourites next year, well I suppose Luton must stand out as favourites, although they won’t have it all their own way next term as I’m sure the other play-off failures Rushden and York will be challenging, along with sides like Cambridge, Mansfield and Wrexham who will be bitterly disappointed with their showing last year. Of course its possible budgeting and funding aspects may play a part, but in terms of promotion contenders I wouldn’t look outside those teams.

In my opinion the Dons will be in a second group, although will improve as the season goes – a contrast with this seasons part-time drop off when we seemed to be in a great position. Whether this will be enough for a play-off place I’m not sure, if the group of teams I mentioned don’t run away with it, or enough of them are off the pace, maybe we can clinch a berth. This is ignoring real wildcards such as Newport or Grimsby – logic suggest they won’t play a part in the promotion race, but you never can tell…

Either way, the full BSP lineup has now been confirmed, and we can now look forward to the publication of the fixtures in June.

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