28th July 2017
Learning the ropes in the non-league with Biggleswade United
Fast becoming one of the most recognisable names in non-league football, Biggleswade United have been helped along the way by UCFB students. From media duties to sponsorship activity, no job is too big or too small…
The last decade has seen major developments at Biggleswade United on and off the pitch.
A burgeoning youth set up, ambitious stadium expansion and national attention thanks to a well-known face in the boardroom.
Like any business though, growth means more work and ultimately more staff. However, like many clubs with non-league status, finances don’t stretch to a colossal work force, and many rely on a dedicated band of volunteers.
Biggleswade do it differently though. With grand desires to make their way up the football pyramid, the club wanted individuals with ambition, knowledge and experience of the game. The club knew approaching UCFB would give them a whole network of individuals with such qualities.
“The non-league game typically struggles to bring in talent to drive clubs forward due to the lack of resources,” says club chairman Chris Lewis. “But UCFB has been essential in helping us bridge that problem.”
He added: “It’s been fantastic working with UCFB as it has provided us with access to the brightest young talent who are keen to make a career in the football industry.”
Two students spent the 2016/17 season working with the club in all aspects of its operation which not only helped with the running of the club, but also meant major career development for them too.
For Josh Brian and Elliot Brown, working at the club has been of huge benefit.
“My experience at Biggleswade has been invaluable,” Josh said. The BA (Hons) Football Business & Media added: “Firstly, because of the hands on work I have been doing, and secondly the experience has meant I’ve met some fantastic people who could be potential contacts for my future.”
After arriving at the club, the pair saw their duties increase from greeting the teams and fans, to eventually maintaining the club’s social media channels on a match day and putting together financial projections for the club’s budget.
Elliot, a BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance student, said: “This club is a very interesting place to work because of their unique set-up and philosophy, compared to the average non-league outfit. Biggleswade place such a heavy emphasis financially and pay a substantial amount of attention to the quality of coaching at the club and the development of academy sides.”
The club’s director of football, Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague, said that as long as students remain ambitious and inquisitive he and the rest of the club will do all they can to help them succeed. He added: “At Biggleswade if we see youth with an interest and a commitment and you see that there is a passion for being the best they can be, then no doubt about it, we will help them.”