After a much-needed break from training, through May and June, the first week of July saw the commencement of pre-season at Braywick, with some new additions, and sadly a few departures. The initial focus, through July, was fitness training, led by S&C Coach, Rob Churchouse, with some conditioned games chucked in, and the start of the development of attacking shape. August has seen an increase in game play, with some Monday night fitness sessions added, led by Mark ‘Badger Bite’ Bates for bare-knuckle boxing. After his MMA defeat to Perry Jansen, Christoph Bart’s confidence in this area, has been sufficiently shattered to render him ‘indefinitely unavailable’ for these sessions.
Maids one and only pre-season match to date, came last Thursday, away at a strong Marlow side, buoyed by the return of fly-half Will Fulton, and inside centre George Jafari. After a close first half, Maids hit their stride, with Perry Jansen leading the charge, scoring a wonder try, and assisting Frankie O’Keeffee for another, with a sublime cross-field kick. Marlow fought back with two late scores, but it wasn’t enough to reverse the lead, and Maidenhead prevailed 29-25. Notable mentions go to debutants/youngsters Umar Marriott, Bradford Langenhoven, Rorie Hannigan, Jamie McNabb, Chris Blythe, Matt Bill, Dom Bart and Matt Donaldson.
As with all clubs at this time of the year, player recruitment is at the forefront of many people’s minds, and we’re delighted to announce several new players, as well as the return of some old players to Braywick;
-Will Macauley (Back row, signed from Blackheath)
-Jack Hill (Scrum Half, signed from Redingensians)
-Rorie Hannigan (Centre, signed from Drifters)
-Alex Cannon (Full back/fly half, signed from Drifters)
-Mike Burnett (Wing, unattached)
-Jamie McNab (2nd row/Back row, unattached)
-Matt Donaldson (2nd row/Back row, return from injury)
It’s also hopeful that the signing of ex Maids player Ed Keohane can be finalised this week. Ed, who is equally comfortable at 10 or 12, has recently returned from Australia, after a season with Chinnor, where he was voted in the National 2 Team of the Year, as voted for, in The Rugby Paper.
We’re also delighted that the following players, will be making the step up to senior rugby, after concluding their time in the Colts;
-Joel Greene (Back row)
-Scott Prince (Scrum Half/Fly Half/Full Back)
-Will Lawrence (Fly Half/Full Back)
-Umar Marriott (Prop)
-Shane McKenna (2nd row)
As with the conclusion of every season, we sadly have to bid farewell to some, who are moving to pastures new. They include;
-Mike Virgo (moved to Australia)
-Matthieu Abiven (moved back to France)
-James O’Reilly (Slough)
Looking ahead, we take an exciting squad to the Grasshoppers Tournament this Saturday, quietly confident of improving upon our Semi-Final position last year. Missing mercurial fly-half Perry Jansen, who is away with new fiancé Ellie Birch, Maids will be looking for the 10 duties to be split between Keohane, Prince and Cannon. Myke Parrott misses out with an ankle injury, after kicking Tom Simpson’s cat, but Simpson is able to play, whilst Tom Finnie takes him to the vet.
Maids squad for Saturday:
Marriott, N.Jones, Britton, L.Jones, Nicolatos, Emmanuel, Meek, Muil, Macauley, Long, White, McKenna, Childerhouse, Hill, Keohane, Bart, Hannigan, Skelton, O’Keeffe, Simpson, Prince, Greene, 2 TBC.
Come on you Maids!