We may only be two-thirds of the way through the current season but here at Biggleswade United, we are already turning our attention to how we can make next season better for all our 14 sides, from the very youngest right up to the first team.

We currently have more than 150 youngsters in our Academy, expertly schooled by our 17 coaches, all of who are qualified, with some holding UEFA Pro and B licences.

The Academies of football clubs are its lifeblood, its very essence and its guarantee of a solid foundation and an optimistic future. Clubs like ours know that the secret of long term success and continuity comes with building from the ground upwards and not from the top down.

Academies are more than important, they are fundamental, quintessential; experienced, caring, chaperones along that rocky and obstacle-strewn road leading to the development of the youngsters in their care; a trail blazed into becoming, not merely, better footballers but, more importantly, grounded, well-rounded, capable, proper people.

It would be disingenuous of me to tell the youngsters that join us that all of them will eventually make it into our first team; they won’t. What I can promise every last one of them, whatever age they might be, is that they will all have the guidance and support available to them to help them try to realise their footballing ambitions, whatever they might be.

In the relatively short time I have been involved with the club, first as Director of Football and now as Chairman, I have already seen youngsters progress from our junior sides to – as young as 16 – playing for the Under 23s and doing so with their sights and ambitions very firmly focused on making the final jump into first-team selection.

Last season our Under 18s won the County Cup and we are currently looking for players to strengthen that particular side. Any players that are interested need to know that the pathway is in place here for them to attain their target, fulfil their potential. Age is nothing more than a number and if the players show the necessary commitment, passion and fundamental desire, then whatever their age, we will do everything we possibly can to help them go as far as they can with this club.

No club, I believe, offers better coaching than we do, nor better value. At the older end (11 years and upwards) a payment of £250, £4-80 a week paid monthly, (or put another way and depending where you live and choose to drink, about the cost of a pint of lager) youngsters will also receive two team kits, one full training kit, a tracksuit and club polo shirt as well as free access to our club physiotherapist.

This has never been – nor will it ever be – about making money, nor should it ever be perceived as a business enterprise but rather about the continual development of a facility that can enrich the lives of  the future generations that will be a vital part of that Community that we are so proud to be a part of.

Anyone requiring further info should contact us at info@biggleswadeunited.com

Back to business, and after last week’s narrow reversal at Edgware Town, we look forward to getting back to winning ways when Harpenden Town call into Second Meadow tomorrow (Sat KO: 3 pm).

See you there,