Chairman's Column 05.03.2022

Guillem Balague

Chairman's Column 05.03.2022

There is no maxim truer in lower league football than the one that says that "volunteers are not not paid, not because they are worthless but rather because they are priceless."

Priceless indeed, because the stark reality that all clubs like ours face is, that without the tireless efforts of our volunteers who put their shoulders to the wheel on a regular basis for love rather than lucre, clubs like Biggleswade United would not be able to function.

But there is another side to the heart-warming symbiosis that the club and its loyal and magnificent team of volunteers enjoy.

Head of Sports Science and Physiotherapy at the club, Bernat Puig Valls is a case in point.

Bernat arrived in the UK in 2019 from the picturesque coastal town of Santa Susanna, situated about an hour from Barcelona, keen to gain practical work experience in addition to studying for his MSc in Sports Medicine, Exercise and Health at University College London.

Of course what he hadn't budgeted on was that gaining much valuable on the ground experience would mean he would end up wearing quite as many hats as he did.

When he isn't in his physio role administering to the needs of 150 people at the club, he can be found working as joint coach of the Under 13s with Rob Manning-Wells and Letitia Emeana or helping out with the Women's side.

Five years earlier he decided to quit a promising semi-professional career as a midfielder to concentrate on his studies. This season, with the club facing an exodus of players following its forced sideways move into the United Counties League, he once again came to the rescue, dusting off his boots resuming his playing career, only now - for the first time in his life - frequently as a central defender.

The vitally important paper qualifications now banked, in addition to the many roles he fulfils at the club, Bernat's 'day job' now sees him working as a physiotherapist at the Parks Therapy Centre in the town.

Just 30-years-old but already with a wealth of experience behind him, Bernat would be the first to say that being able to place on his CV the experience he gained by working 'in the field', in the real world rather than going into practice straight from the classroom has helped him enormously.

And from the club's point of view, providing him with the structure that could give him the necessary practical experience, a platform that meant he could hit the floor running once qualified, was the least we could do to repay him for his sterling efforts for the club.

And it is something we are keen to offer any young, aspiring and/or training physiotherapists keen to get that valuable work experience. If you are interested in joining us you can contact me at biggleswadeutd@gmail.com

We are not in a position to offer you huge amounts of money, not because we wouldn't want to, but simply because we don't have it.

But what we always say here is that we will only ever make you those promises that we can keep and then keep all those promises that we make.

And we promise over and above anything else to do our level best to do all we can to help you make that rocky road in the development of their careers as smooth as possible.

Tomorrow (Sat) our men's first team visit Easington Sports (ko 3pm) before travelling to Lutterworth Town on Tuesday night(ko 7.45pm). Our Under 23 men welcome Elstow Abbey First to the Keech Hopsice Care Stadium on Saturday (ko 2.30pm) and then Crawley Green Reserves call in on Tuesday night (ko 7.30pm).

Our Women's Blue side meanwhile are home to Barton Rovers Women this Sunday (ko2pm).