Champions League winner Pako Ayestaran visited Biggleswade United this week to share some words of wisdom with the squad.
The coaching guru called into Second Meadow for a club training session.
Ayestaran was assistant to Rafa Benitez when Valencia won two La Liga titles and also on that memorable night in Istanbul when Liverpool fought back from a 3-0 deficit against AC Milan to draw level before winning the Champions League on penalties.
He also led Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv to their first ever domestic treble.
But his passion for the game is not limited to the its top echelon and he is a firm believer in the benefits offered by grassroots football
“It is crucial. It’s not just about the performance, there is a social responsibility,” Ayestaran explained while watching Cristian Colas’ side being put through their paces.
“The players wish to play football. To have these types of clubs, who help them to fulfil their dreams, I think it’s great.
“Maybe one day these guys could be players at a higher level.”
Ayestaran, a friend of United director of football Guillem Balague, praised the job done by Colas and the rest of the club’s backroom staff.
“The job they are doing is amazing. To get the commitment and to see how determined these players are to perform, I think it is amazing.
“Nowadays, at this level there are many people playing without passion. You can see the passion involved in this team and it is an amazing experience for everybody.
“Guillem asked me to come. I wanted to have this experience which I think is massive for everybody in the community and all the players as well.”
During his address to the United squad, who at the time of writing have won six of their last seven matches, the Basque drew on the words of legendary basketball coach John Wooden to give what he views as the definition of success.
“For me, following John Wooden’s words, it’s about peace of mind as a result of knowing that you did your best to become the best you are capable of.