Chairman's Column: Thank You Cristian!
There are so many positive things that we can take from Cristian Colás's two spells totalling six seasons at our club but none more impressive, heartwarming and life affirming than his friendship.
He came to us as a well qualified coach back in May 2015 and now leaves us after our last league game of the season against Aylesbury Vale Dynamos with the very best wishes of everyone at the club..
I remember very well the first time I ever spoke to Cristian. He rang me to suggest for the job a former, much more experienced, coach he had assisted at a previous club. The person he was putting forward was well in excess of what we were looking for at the club and it was only a matter of minutes into speaking with Cristian that I realised that I was speaking to the new coach of Biggleswade United's first team.
What I was looking for was someone that would take the job on, not just just for the job itself but for the lifestyle changes it would make to their lives; someone who would not just live in England but also immerse himself in the country, the community and become part of the fabric of grassroots football.
I also wanted someone who would instil in the club a certain way of playing, a possession based, high pressure type of game and I was convinced very soon that Cristian could tick all the boxes, learn with us and then progress to the next level. We connected immediately.
We were many of us new, or newish in my case, something I demonstrated admirably when having picked him at the airport for the first time I then somehow managed to get lost when driving him and me to the ground.
He must have wondered at the time what he was letting himself in for.
At that time we had other Spanish coaches at the club and one of my most treasured memories of those early days was the Saturday nights when we would get together at my Hitchin flat and wind down after the game with a few beers, some tapas and Spanish La Liga football playing on the television.
From the very start his high standards, compassionate yet assertive approach and sheer professionalism shone like a beacon and not just on the playing side.
His dealings with everyone at the club, his openness, generosity with his time, and total commitment meant we gradually began to to take steps forward not only with our finishing positions in the league but also in the way we would play the game.
Similarly his conduct with match officials, league representatives and all those at the club has never been anything less than exemplary.
The intensity that he dedicates to his job combined with his working life has obviously taken its toll over the six seasons that he has spent with the club and he now feels the time is right for a break.
He leaves a big legacy, and he knows he will always be a welcome visitor at the club. From a personal point of view I have to say that I have no intention of losing contact with someone who, through thick and thin, good times and bad, has become one of my very best friends.
Two of the players that he trained were Jordan Wright and Gareth Hunt and both are now to take over as joint head coaches of the men's first team. Jordan and Gaz were the last two players to leave the club after we lost, practically, our entire first team when we were arbitrarily moved into the more northerly based United Counties League.
Gaz was the first to return and Jordan joined him at the end of the season that he spent at Newport Pagnell Town where he would go on to win the FA Vase. They are now set to take on the role of joint head coaches at the club willing and able to take the club forward by implementing the style of play put in place by Cristian.
They will of course look to put their own mark on the team but they like everyone at the club will be forever grateful to Cristian for everything that he has done for our club.
Thank you Cristian from everyone!