Chairman's Column 24.09.2022

Guillem Balague

Chairman's Column 24.09.2022

There's scarcely a day goes by when I don't talk to someone - anyone who'll listen, in fact - about Biggleswade United.

Tomorrow (Sat September 29) it will be a chance to renew conversations and catch up with friends, old and new, when we all meet up for our men's first team clash against White Ensign FC of the Essex Senior League in the second qualifying round of this year's FA Vase competition.

Victory will also mean we will be just seven ties/eight games (the semi finals are played over two legs) from a place in a Wembley final to be played on May 21 next year, a tall order I grant you but as Newport Pagnell showed last year when they won it, not beyond the realms of possibility.

Aside from the financial implications of going as far as we can in the competition - the winners on Saturday receive £725 and the eventual winners of the trophy pocket a very juicy £30,000 - it will be wonderful to welcome again and thank personally my literary agent, David Luxton, who through his company David Luxton Associates has been kind enough to sponsor the game.

And I can't wait to touch base once more with the former head of our Academy, Fran Constancio, who after he left us went on to achieve national success with the youngsters in his charge at Northampton Town when they won the National Football Youth League Trophy this year.

We are also pleased to welcome to the club our new head of funding Caezar Al-Jassar and I will be keen to hear from him what ideas he might have about how we can increase funding and grow our club.

I will be interested in discussing with him an idea I have had about acquiring a coach that our teams can use for those longer more exhausting away journeys like for example this Sunday when our ladies Red side face a 200 mile round trip to Norfolk where they will play Fakenham Town. My idea is that a local company can use the coach for its own commercial use then allow us to use it for free for the occasional weekend trip as part of a sponsorship deal.

But perhaps one of the most exciting visitors to the Keech Hospice Stadium this weekend will be former goalkeeper Luis César Sampedro who after retiring as a player went on to become one of the most prolific Spanish coaches primarly in the country's Second division A where he took charge of various clubs including the likes of Deportivo La Coruna, Valladolid, Tenerife and also Gimnastic of Tarragona who he took up into the top flight in 2006 for the first time since 1950.

His career as a Spanish coach saw him take charge of close on to 600 games and it would be wonderful if we can persuade him to give us a year of his invaluable time and experience as our Director of Football during which time, in addition to helping us in all aspects of coaching and playing he can also improve his spoken and written English and also his understanding of the English game.

It should be a wonderful weekend and because of the international break around Europe, this is one occasion when I really can say to you, “See you there”.