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 OUSP to discuss favourite away days ahead of the fixtures being released.

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Next week, fixtures for 2023/24 will be released (Thursday, June 22). It’s a day fans eagerly await: diaries will be filled and plans made for away trips.

It seemed appropriate to indulge ourselves with a look back at some of the Supporters’ Panel’s favourite away trips last season, and ahead to the most attractive ones for 2023/24.

OUSP collated fan away day feedback last season, and overall the highest rated trip was to Bolton (helped by an excellent fanzone), closely followed by Shrewsbury.

One of the lowest ratings was for Forest Green Rovers, reflecting difficulty parking, heavy traffic and a poor view of the pitch.

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However, ratings can’t always capture the emotion and atmosphere of a match, and for OUSP representative Pete, it was the best away game of the season.

Pete had booked his tickets when we were in the middle of an appalling run of form and without a win in months.

By the time of the game, we had seen an upturn in form and results, and hopes were high.

On the day, we delivered a thoroughly professional performance in front of a sold-out away following, scoring three great goals to seal three points and – once we heard that MK Dons had been held to a draw – secure League One football for next season.

For Grace, Portsmouth has always been a favourite away trip. This season was no exception.

“Travelling on the coach for the evening kick-off helped set the mood. There is always such a great atmosphere when we play them, home or away. Knowing this is a big game for players and fans really brought out the intensity of the match. I will never forget the goal from Kyle Joseph, it was just incredible, and his celebration with a knee slide and salute made the night.”

For Paul, a wheelchair user, away days are not always easy, and he has to plan carefully.

“Is there accessible parking? Are wheelchairs in with our own fans? (You would be surprised how many grounds put us in with home fans). What is the view like – is it pitchside or is there a raised viewing area? Will fans be able to get in front of me and block my view?

“When a club gets it right, it makes a great day out. Shrewsbury Town is one of my favourites. You have a raised view behind your own fans without anyone blocking your view. You experience the full atmosphere, and to top it off, they have helpful friendly stewards who even come up to you before half-time to ask if you wish to purchase a beverage which is then brought to you. A proper day out.”

For the upcoming season we have lost two short trips with the relegation of MK Dons and Forest Green Rovers, but the arrival of Stevenage, Northampton and of course Reading, means we are looking at an average away distance of 113 miles, with many matches easily accessible in under two hours.

So what is the fixture everyone is looking out for next week? Paul acknowledges that for many fans it will be Reading away. Grace and Pete are looking forward to ticking off some new grounds, including near neighbours (definitely not derbies) at Wycombe, Reading and Northampton. Both are looking forward to the trip to Charlton: easy to get to by train, and always an eventful match.