My dream for Biggleswade United (both mens and womens teams) has always been to have a starting line up consisting of players that have made it into the first team by coming through the club’s younger ranks.
Circumstances now seem to have ensured that we will be achieving our ambitions somewhat sooner than we might have anticipated.
Our enforced move into the United Counties league has, to say the least, left our first team squad depleted which means we now turn to youth mixed with top quality coaching to fly the Biggleswade United flag this coming season.
It means we will be amalagamating our under-16 and under-18 sides with a view to blooding them into our under-23s with many of our current under-23s and even some of our under-18s moving up into the first team.
Many of our current players have opted to leave because of the extra travelling commitments that will come from having to campaign next season in the UCL.
While our first men’s team will face a 20 per cent increase in the distances they will have to travel to away games, it is not in reality anything like as bad as their response to this new challenge suggests.
But we respect their decision, wish them well in the future, and move on.
We could have looked at the possibility of trying to build a new squad from scratch by finding players that know this league and have experience of playing in it – something we have done in the past – and it’s certainly true to say that we are not about to close the door on any such player or players that might like to join us and put their experienced and very capable shoulders to the wheel.
But the reality is if we are to continually advocate a philosophy of building our club on the basis of young local talent then we have to put our trust in those players that we have available to us at our club.
We have to be seen to walk the walk as well as talk the talk, stand up and be counted and match our words to our deeds.
I would ask the players and their parents to trust us to bring them into the fold.
I understand that some of the youngsters will be nervous about making the leap into senior football and I am not saying that it won’t be a hard and occasionally tortuous learning curve.
But fortune favours the brave and our talented coaching team headed by our UEFA Pro Coach, Cristian Colas are already busy preparing the burgeoning young talent we have in our ranks in order to help them gain more playing time and experience at a higher level and make them the very best they possibly can be.
Onwards and upwards!