Stevenage FC may be finding their feet under new caretaker management in the past week but off the pitch the club's charitable arm, Stevenage FC Foundation also has a new man at the helm.
Joe Goude took up the position of Head of Foundation in January having previously spent 10 years working in local grassroots football with Hertfordshire & Cambridgeshire FA respectively. During that time he was involved in establishing the first disability league in Hertfordshire as well as introducing futsal to the County.
Having replaced Alex Tunbridge, who has left the club to take up a new job opportunity in the USA, Joe is looking forward to the new role and ensuring the club is doing all it can to help the local community and grow the fan base of the club.
“Moving from a County FA into a club has been a fantastic learning curve. The pace of club life is something I’ve had to get used to pretty quickly and it is great to see the club doing some brilliant work in the local community.”
Established in 2009, the Foundation engages with thousands of people a year through the delivery of sports, education, health, social inclusion and disability based provision programmes. With participants as young as two and as old as 92 and the scope for growth in his local community is something that attracted Goude to the role.
“We want to take the club mantra of Pride, Passion, Ambition and grow that in the community with everything we do. Whether that be a half term soccer camp, walking football session or working with young people to increase employability skills through the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme."
Roger Gochin, who is Chair of Trustees at the Foundation is expecting exciting times for the Foundation: “We’re delighted to have Joe on board with the Foundation and he brings a wealth of experience from local grassroots football and sports development. We are very keen to have new partners to develop programmes with schools and other community organisations so if you have ideas get in touch with Joe and we will come out to discuss how football can help you in your work."