If I’ve learnt one thing in all my years of following football, it’s that, very often, the most important battles are not won on the training grounds and not in the dressing rooms writes Guillem Balague
Those battles are won in the place that lies in those small, immensely complicated and little-understood areas that inhabit the space between the ears of all involved.
The mindset that cultivates confidence, or the lack of it, are a huge part of what defines the ultimate fortunes of every club, whatever level they happen to play at. And if you don’t believe me, ask any followers of either Leicester City at one end of the Premier League and Aston Villa at the other.
Here at Biggleswade United after what was a difficult and occasionally fraught learning process we find ourselves hurtling up the league table as Christmas and New Year approaches, complete with a newly acquired phobia to conceding goals. Long may it continue.
The last six league games have seen us score 14 goals and concede 0, in the process earning us 16 out of a possible 18 points. On November 7 we beat Cockfosters 1-0, our first league win since the opening game of the season against Holmer Green on August 8.
That of course is not to underestimate nor underplay the magnificent work and efforts put in by everyone – players and coaches alike – on the training ground.
The camaraderie and team spirit that has built working under Cristian Colas (pictured right), Fran Constancio, Alfie Long, Stuart Bimson and fitness coach, Abraham Selma has been pivotal in building that contagious confidence that is now reaping rewards.
We have also been bolstered by additions to our squad like Moha Hashim who joins us from Cricklewood Wanderers and Lucas Joyce who has been playing in Portugal, and while it would be wrong to just single out a couple of players there’s no doubt their arrival has given everyone a boost and added a new dimension to our game.
Tom Cookman has been one of the main beneficiaries, helping himself to a hat trick last weekend against Bedford and playing once again with a spring in his step.
Off the pitch we now have the ‘law on our backs’ but in the best possible way with the Barcelona based firm of solicitors, avaLaw signing an agreement to sponsor the back of our shirts for the season.
And if you ever wanted to see an example of how in this age of social media and technology, football is a global game whose tentacles and influences extend far beyond the simple matter of playing a match on a Saturday, this latest and most welcome involvement of avaLaw is proof positive of that.
It was also a privilege to take our under 14 girls side around the studios at Sky Sports the other day where they were able to see what happens backstage and meet presenters and production crew including Kate Abdo and Jamie Redknapp.
The trip was the very least they deserved and a celebration following their unbeaten league title win of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Girls’ and Women’s Football League in their very first season with the club.
And finally, warmest greetings of the season not just from me, but everyone at Biggleswade United FC to all of you in that wonderful family that is the world of non-league soccer. See you next year.
Article: Guillem Balague
Images: www.actionimages.com / Biggleswade United FC