Football pundit Guillem Balague inspires students in Hitchin

PUBLISHED: 13:23 08 November 2017

Assistant head Lawrence Foster and PE teacher Sally Emler with Sky Sports pundit and football author Guillem Balague and Priory School students Emma Dodd, Matthew Morton, Cian Campbell and Felicia Austin. Picture: Danny Loo

Assistant head Lawrence Foster and PE teacher Sally Emler with Sky Sports pundit and football author Guillem Balague and Priory School students Emma Dodd, Matthew Morton, Cian Campbell and Felicia Austin. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Sports journalist, pundit and author Guillem Balague was at Hitchin's Priory School yesterday to speak to eager students about all things football.

Sky Sports pundit and football author Guillem Balague speaks to pupils at Priory School. Picture: Danny LooSky Sports pundit and football author Guillem Balague speaks to pupils at Priory School. Picture: Danny Loo

Sky Sports pundit and Biggleswade United lynchpin Guillem was at Hitchin’s Waterstones shop at the weekend, signing his biography of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino – and he told the Priory pupils how his writing journey had begun when he was a 12-year-old football fan.

Speaking to the Comet, he said: “It was a pleasure to spend time with the kids at the school. If I have learnt anything in my life it is that sharing experiences is so rewarding.

“I repeated to them some of the advice I heard when I was their age and that I kept with me. I enjoyed their curiosity and questions, and I think we might have recruited three or four players for Biggleswade United!

“All and all, it was a great way to spend the morning.”

Sky Sports pundit and football author Guillem Balague speaks to pupils at Priory School. Picture: Danny LooSky Sports pundit and football author Guillem Balague speaks to pupils at Priory School. Picture: Danny Loo

Guillem, originally from Barcelona, told the pupils he had followed his dream to write and tell stories about football like a dog with a bone.

He said that after securing a job with a football magazine in Spain, he approached Sky Sports about visiting their headquarters – and jumped at the chance to appear on camera at two minutes’ notice to talk about Spanish football.

His journalistic career took off from there, as he was rewarded with regular work on Sky Sports shows such as Revista de la Liga – focusing on the Spanish league – as well as hosting radio and TV shows in both Spain and England.

Guillem, who calls Hitchin his adopted hometown, now also serves as director of football at Biggleswade United, and has written biographies of footballing icons like Pep Guardiola, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sky Sports pundit and football author Guillem Balague speaks to pupils at Priory School. Picture: Danny LooSky Sports pundit and football author Guillem Balague speaks to pupils at Priory School. Picture: Danny Loo

A spokeswoman for the Bedford Road school said: “Students were enthralled by Guillem’s tales of meeting the world’s best footballers, how to get into writing and how to make the most of the football teams to which they now belong.

“Here’s hoping we have the next Harry Kane in our midst at The Priory School! Huge thanks to Guillem and his team for giving up their time.”

Guillem’s keen interest in non-League football memorably saw him intervene on behalf of Hitchin Town when their Top Field ground was threatened in 2014, penning a Sky Sports editorial calling for support.

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