Chairman's Column 13.08.2022

Guillem Balague

Chairman's Column 13.08.2022

It's great to have the men’s first team back with our friends and rivals in the South Midlands Spartan League after a year in exile in the Midlands based United Counties League for a year.

Last season saw us haemorrhage just about all our players once our league move was confirmed. This time around not only have we managed to retain around 85% of our players, we have also added some extra quality where it was needed. New signings are made up of a blend of youth and experienced players which will make both of our mens side more competitive in their respective divisions and mean that hopefully both will be in a good position to challenge for honours this season.

Putting aside our defeat to an excellent Gorleston FC in the FA Cup last week, both on and off the pitch, things are looking good and we opened our league campaign with a valuable win at Dave Kitson's, Arlesey Town.

The landmark agreement we have in place with VEO will provide backing for our women's senior sides and means that we are now able to be one of the very few clubs in the country apart from the top divisions in the women's football pyramid where women do not have to pay subs to play.

Our partnership with VEO will also allow us to fund within the club the training up of up to ten women football coaches or referees. We have three in place so far but anyone already at the club (players, volunteers, supporters) or any women from our community are welcome to apply for the remaining seven places.

The signs are good and we already have around 35 women signed up to play for either our Red or Blue side this season with many more also showing an interest.

VEO has also provided us with a camera that will allow us to live stream our matches on social media sites. We are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, and have 70,000 plus followers which is more than any other grassroots club in the UK. A great platform for our partners and also for people to follow our news.

We are in the process of preparing a season ticket that will have the logo of our partners printed on it. We are looking at companies that are happy for us to promote them and in exchange they can give discounts to our season ticket holder. And also very soon replica kits and merchandise will be on sale at Mr Bransons in the centre of Biggleswade.

In addition to first team shirt sponsor, Winchmore Brickwork, we have new kit providers in Hola 5 who as well cutting us a very good deal have also donated the first team kit and who will produce a standardised one for every single team at the club. We will all look the same, one of my aspirations.

The tireless work of people like club secretary Tracey James and fixtures secretary Heather Rennie and volunteers like Steve, Petula, Karen, Del and Darren constantly working to improve club facilities all help to make things happen on a daily basis.

But we still do not have enough facilities to keep growing. We face a constant battle to achieve the balance that will give our senior and youth sides the best possible training conditions while still ensuring that the pitch remains in tip top condition.

Enjoy the game and come and see us again. I've got a really good feeling about this season.