The news that Biggleswade United has been granted FA Charter Community club status is unquestionably the best thing to have happened since I began my involvement with this wonderful club.

We are truly honoured to be the only club in Biggleswade, and only one of a few in Bedfordshire, to have achieved ‘Community Charter’ status and it is an accolade to everyone, both on an off the pitch, who work tirelessly to make this club something that we can all be so proud of.

The FA Charter Standard Community status acknowledges the most advanced level of club development and football provision and is due testament to the positive football environment we provide youngsters and adults – male and female – to enhance their skills, keep fit and stay safe while being part of the friendly, inclusive community they are so proud to be a part of.

We are truly proud that the award has recognised that coaching and the safeguarding of those in our care receive equal priority and that we adhere to the values of The FA’s Respect campaign. For all of us at the club, the receiving of this new status feels like a very welcome affirmation that here at Biggleswade United we are doing it right.

It is also confirmation of the ethos that runs through every person in this club that it is not just about what happens on the pitch, nor solely about winning matches and trophies, as welcome as that unquestionably is.

I have always said – and the granting of the Charter Community Status confirms this – that it is more about building something on the firmest of foundations, that will guarantee a facility for the entire community that will last for generations to come.

Most encouragingly it will help us attract new players, fans and local sponsors, as well as keep hold of the ones we currently value so highly.

In addition, it will also bring us many tangible benefits like £200 worth of Nike official FA match balls but above all, it is also a clear message to the whole community that the quality of football learning coupled with the care, welfare and respect shown on a regular basis is second to none in the area.

We have set the bar high and we wouldn’t want it any other way. It is now for us to guarantee that we maintain these high standards we have achieved and that have been recognised by our governing body. I know that we will.

All in all an eventful week; against Colney Heath on Tuesday night we played with ten men for about 70 minutes in a match  that finished 3-3 and featured an astonishing 93rd minute equaliser by none other than Ollie Leslie, someone normally more preoccupied with keeping the ball out of his goal at the other end of the pitch.

Hopefully, it will be back to the goalkeeping  ‘day job’ for Ollie tomorrow (Sat) when we visit Edgware Town (KO: 3pm).

See you there,