Stevens wants London Welsh to become "Oxfordshire's Club"

Mike Stevens

Mike Stevens

First published in Rugby Witney Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

MIKE Stevens says he wants to make London Welsh “Oxfordshire’s club” when he joins as chief executive.

The 44-year-old, from Abingdon, takes up the reins next Monday, determined to increase the Exiles’ Kassam Stadium attendances.

“Involving the community is vital,” said Stevens. “We need to listen to what they want as a matchday product.

“We want the junior sections at local rugby clubs to feel that this is their club as well.

“I will be working with universities, schools and businesses to make London Welsh Oxfordshire’s club and a product that people want to come along to.”

Stevens joins Welsh ahead of their Greene King IPA Championship first leg play-off at Leeds Carnegie on Sunday.

The return match will be held at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday, May 18.

The Exiles are hoping to win promotion back to the Premiership, but Stevens feels there is room for optimism which ever league they play in next season.

“There are plans in place for both eventualities,” he said.

“My aim is to give coach Justin Burnell and his playing staff as large and noisy a crowd as we can.

“We want the crowd to be that 16th man.”

He added: “I was won over by the board and their commitment to Oxfordshire.

“The fact that we have signed a three-year deal with the Kassam Stadium illustrates that.”

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