After six seasons, spread over two spells at the club, our men's first team head coach, Cristian Colás has announced that he will be stepping aside from football at the end of this campaign.
Cristian joined us from Spain in May 2015. He very quickly identified with the ethos of the club and created a training programme and playing style that remains today. After three years of developing the team to a high standard he made the career decision to join a club two divisions above.
He returned in 2020 and then last season negotiated what was undoubtedly the most traumatic period in the club's history when we were arbitrarily moved from the Spartan League to the more northerly based United Counties League.
Despite losing just about the whole of our first team squad because of the extra travel commitments we faced in the new league, somehow we rallied, scraping together enough wins before finally saving ourselves from relegation with a home win in an emotional last day of the season.
Explaining his decision to call time on his coaching career for the time being Cristian said, "I have been coaching for 24 years since I was just 16-years-old and believe that the time is right now for me to call it day."
"My time at Biggleswade United has been both professionally and personally the happiest of my life and that is due to all those at the club that took me to their hearts.
"My life and my roots are now established in this country where I have found my life partner, established my career outside of football, and all of this has been made possible because of my associations with Biggleswade United and all of its magnificent people that have made all the difference in my life."
"Their love, support and friendship through some challenging times that we have negotiated together has been priceless, unforgettable and life affirming and something I will always be deeply grateful for."
Club chairman, Guillem Balagué said that appointing Cristian as head coach was, "undoubtedly one the best day’s work I have ever done in all my years at the club."
"On limited funds and with stretched resources Cristian has led this club through some dark days and taken it to places we could only have dreamed about when I joined."
"His professionalism, dedication and total commitment to the cause has helped put in place the foundations that can now carry the club forward to where we want to be."
"And while we will all miss him for his abilities and knowledge on the training ground and on the touchline, what I have valued most about his time with all of us is his unfailing loyalty, kindness and friendship."
His decision to leave is his and his alone and we wish him nothing other than the very best for the future. He knows that he will always be welcome at this club that he did so much for and I know that despite calling it a day he certainly is not going to become a stranger to us."
Club secretary, Tracey James echoed his sentiments saying that she was "proud to record that Cristian will have a place in our club's history as well as a permanent residency in our hearts."
"During his "stewardship" we achieved our best ever FA Vase run, reaching the 4th round proper and this season we look to be finishing in a top ten position in the league. "
On the traumas of last season's league move she said that, "many coaches would have thrown in the towel, but Cristian stayed loyal to the club and despite huge challenges throughout the season he battled on and helped us escape relegation to Step 6 on the last day of the season."
"Cristian has commanded a great deal of respect from his coaching counterparts, not only for his warmth and humility, but also for the style of play he has engendered that has been admired by many other opposing players and coaches."
"The club owes a tremendous amount to Cristian and he will always be a much loved member of the Biggleswade United family."
Meanwhile the club has moved quickly to fill the gap created by Cristian's departure by recruiting from within.
Jordan Wright and Gareth Hunt have been appointed joint number ones with the men’s first team. Jordan’s move into coaching comes after his decision to end his playing career at the end of the season while Gareth will work alongside him as player-coach.
Jordan says, "I am extremely excited to be taking over as joint first team Head Coach at Biggleswade United with Gareth Hunt."
"It’ll be a new exciting, chapter I’m sure, Cristian will be missed however we will build on the foundations he has left and aim to keep as many players as we can whilst also strengthening the squad."
Gaz Hunt added, "Very excited to be taking over as Joint first team Head Coach (with Jordan Wright)! It’s something I’ve always seen myself doing maybe not as early as this but some opportunities presented can’t be turned down!