Oxford Phoenix

U's Greats Joins Training Session with Refugee Players

Oxford United favourites James Constable and Peter Rhoades-Brown took part in a training session with Oxford Phoenix at the start of Refugee Week.

A football team comprised of players that have sought refuge in Oxfordshire were provided with a special opportunity on Monday 17 June, as Oxford United goalscoring hero, James Constable, and winger Peter Rhoades-Brown dropped by to support their weekly training session.

Oxford Phoenix, established through a partnership between Asylum Welcome, Refugee Resource and Oxford United in the Community, are celebrating their third anniversary this month, while 17-23 June marks Refugee Week across the country.

The team was formed to provide competitive playing opportunities to refugees that have made Oxfordshire their home, with a number of players going on to join established affiliated teams within local grassroots football.

At their training session at Greyfriars Catholic School, in Cowley, Oxford, U’s favourite Constable observed the players being put through their paces, before taking part in the session – which was also attended by BBC Radio Oxford.

Please click here to listed via BBC Sounds (1hr, 37mins in), where you can also hear from the players, who reveal how much playing for Oxford Phoenix has done for them.

“It was probably a little bit harder than I was expecting,” admitted Constable. 

“They’re handy players. I thought it would just be a jog around and be part of it, but they really put me through my paces.”

“I’m staying on the sidelines. These boys are a little too sharp for me,” added Rhoades-Brown.

For more information on Oxford Phoenix, or Oxfordshire FA’s work creating opportunities for refugees in the county, please email Youcef.ElBarhdadi@OxfordshireFA.com