Balague: Courage of our Spanish players at Biggleswade United

One of the best things about football is that sometimes you don't get what you deserve and other times you get more than you're due.

Friday, 3rd February 2017, 10:11 am
Guillem Balague.

Berkhamsted will probably argue that they deserved better than to be the wrong side of a 2-0 defeat against us last Saturday, and they’re probably right. But that’s football and I’ll shed no tears for them happy in the knowledge that for once it was our turn to have lady luck smile down on us. Also, we showed we are capable of understanding and giving answers to almost everything that the game threw our direction. We are maturing.

In football’s precarious minefield you need luck but what you also need lashings of is courage, and I’m not just talking about on the pitch but also in making the decision about where you are going to play.

Last week we said goodbye to Carles Balboa, the last of the Spanish players to have joined us at Biggleswade.

We’ve had quite a few players from Spain since I took over as Director of Football and my strategy has always been clear. Firstly, to provide professional coaching of the highest calibre and, secondly, to open up the possibility of local and foreign players joining our team, Spanish specially, sharing their skills, based on a training regime that begins in Spain at an early age, so our local guys can enjoy that passion and skill.

These are guys who have left their homes, moved to a foreign country, struggled to learn a new language, taken low-paid local jobs to pay their rent... all for the chance to experience playing for an English team!

It takes courage to give up the comfort of family and friends, language and culture, and travel to a foreign land to play a game they love. And they did it for one very simple reason. They wanted to better themselves and develop into professional players. What they have learned here with us will stay with them.

I’m so grateful to our local lads for giving them this opportunity. Grateful too to our coaches, led by Cristian, our Head Coach and Fran, our Academy Head, who continue to encourage the commitment necessary to develop good players.

Next week I will tell you in detail how we managed to recruit a Norwegian footballer that has played in their first division.

We are a winning team in so many ways. As Pep Guardiola says, there is Another Way of Winning (I’m plugging my book here...), but the fact is, playing football is not just about winning games, it is about having a winning mentality; it is about providing entertainment to the fans who support us; it is about being open to new ideas and methods; it is about fairness and sportsmanship, skill and endeavour.

I believe we are learning, slowly but surely, how to win. Thank you to our visitors who have helped with that process. Thank you to our fans who continue to believe in us.

We don’t have a game on Saturday but entertain Broxbourne Bourough on Tuesday night. See you there.