Oxford United: Callum O'Dowda hails 'incredible' breakthrough

Callum O'Dowda
Callum O'Dowda's Oxford face Luton on Saturday

Oxford United youngster Callum O'Dowda says his breakthrough into the first team is incredible as he continues to impress for his hometown club.

The forward has made nine appearances this season and scored his first goal for Oxford at Exeter this month.

"It's incredible," O'Dowda told BBC Radio Oxford. "I was only in the crowd a few years ago so to get on the pitch is brilliant.

"Now I'm in the team, I want to push on," said the 19-year-old.

O'Dowda, from nearby Kidlington, said hearing his name being sung by the home supporters at the Kassam Stadium has been a huge boost to his confidence.

"Of course I notice - it pushes me on and it gets me going," he added. "I've grown since I've got in the team, I'm more confident and hopefully now I can keep it going and progress on."

O'Dowda's breakthrough
Callum O'Dowda made his first-team debut for Oxford in a League Cup tie at Charlton in August 2013 and made a total of 13 appearances last term, before becoming a regular in Michael Appleton's squad this season.

Oxford take on Luton in League Two on Saturday and O'Dowda revealed he was in the crowd for one of the last meetings between the two clubs, which was a lively affair watched by more than 10,000 fans.

And he says he is relishing the meeting of the two sides on Saturday as he hopes to help Oxford achieve their ultimate aim of promotion.

"I was in the North Stand for that game and it was feisty," said O'Dowda. "I thrive off these games, the big occasions, to be part of them is brilliant.

"My team-mates trust me and my aim is to help the team earn promotion. I take one game at time and help the club get three points.

"When I joined, I was eight and watched the games week in and week out so it's special to be part of it. If I wasn't playing, I'd be watching."

Oxford United supporters have the opportunity to put their questions directly to the club's management this evening as the club hosts a fans forum at the Kassam Stadium.

Doors open at 18:00 BST with proceedings due to get underway at 19:00. Chairman Darryl Eales, CEO Mark Ashton and head coach Michael Appleton will all respond directly to topics raised by fans.