Non League Daily

Balague's Blog: A rich canvas to work on at Biggleswade United

Once upon a time football punditry, broadcasting and writing books were sufficient to fill my days, fulfil my life and satisfy all my creative juices writes Guillem Balague

And then, out of the blue, last October, Chris Lewis, Chairman of Biggleswade United FC contacted me and asked if I would be interested in "getting involved" with the club.

"Where's Biggleswade?" I asked.

I have always harboured a passion for finding a club that I could really get involved with, but not even I could have imagined just how this great little club would soon become the centre of my universe.

As Director of Football at Biggleswade United, I have entered into a "family" of impassioned football enthusiasts who have welcomed me with open arms and embraced my vision of what this football club could, should, and if everything goes to plan, will be.

It's a shared vision of comradeship, excellence, social values, community spirit, which makes the "beautiful game" a force for good in the wider community. "Grass roots" football - or as I prefer to call it, proper football played by proper people - and it truly does change the lives of all who are involved in it. And changes them for the better.

So that's the vision, the challenge, but what do we have to work with? What is the canvas upon which the future of Biggleswade United will be painted? Well.....it's certainly not blank! Filled with the vibrant colours of the personalities involved it's a masterpiece in the making!

Peter Dean, the long serving President who contributes a wealth of knowledge and experience, Chris Lewis the young and impassioned Chairman, Tracey James, the equally long serving club secretary who monitors every game with a steely eye for detail and shouts of encouragement from the sidelines, the players, a group of dedicated lads who turn up every week and play their hearts out for sheer love of the game, the coaches, who give of their time and energy. The canvas is rich indeed.

For my part, I bring 18 years of involvement in the footballing world – years that have given me an insight into the good and the bad sides of this magnificent game.
Along the way I have made many friends and innumerable contacts many of who are now being badgered mercilessly to offer their support for the Club.

It would not be completely accurate to say that anyone who’s anyone in the world of football has been pictured holding a Biggleswade United shirt. What I can assure you is that there isn’t a manager in the world that wouldn’t have wanted, at some time or another, to pick a side from the players that today smile down at us from our clubhouse Wall of Fame.

They include, Pep Guardiola, Joe Hart, David Silva, Jesus Navas, Gianfranco Zola, Koke, Dwight Yorke, Trevor Francis, Xabi Alonso, Santi Cazorla, Jamie Carragher, Gaizka Mendieta, Lionel Messi….the list goes on….

The recent signing of Quique de Lucas to play for the team has only added to the excitement.

Highlight of the month, though, was the Trials for the newly restructured Academy that saw 130 children from ages 5 to 18 being put through their paces to join the Academy. Headed by its newly appointed Director, Pro Licence Spanish coach Fran Constanza, the club can now boast a full complement of young enthusiasts training at all Academy age levels.

Training, of course, lies at the heart of the club’s ethos and will be the main focus of attention in the coming season.

But there’s also much work that has to be done off the pitch, not just in terms of raising money but, just as importantly, awareness amongst the local community about what we are trying to do. To that end we have set out a business department that will – for love not for lucre – set out like modern day evangelists to spread the word.

Our Annual Awards Night is on the 7th May, with special guests, Gaizka Mendieta and Quique de Lucas, and an auction that will include a signed Leo Messi shirt. It will be our chance to thank all those concerned for their hard work during the past year and to outline our plans for the coming year.

It’s going to be a great night; the first of many; I can’t wait.

You can follow Biggleswade United on Twitter at @biggleswadeutd and Guillem can be found at @GuillemBalague

Article by Guillem Balague

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