Big Sam is a Big Signing for Maids

Big Sam is a Big Signing for Maids

Next onboard the Maids train, is the imposing figure of “Big Sam” Hallett, who joins the club, from local rivals Reading Abbey. Hallett, the Abbey, and also Berkshire skipper, adds some much needed muscle to the Maids forwards, and will pack down at lock, behind an already much-beefed up front row.

Hallett is a player known well to Head Coach Russell Bolton, who said of the new signing;

“I’m delighted that the opportunity to bring Sam to the club presented itself to us. Having had him as my captain at Reading Abbey during my two years at the club I know exactly what he can bring to the team both on and off the field. As a player he is a big threatening ball carrier who will get us over the tackle line and create opportunities for those around him. He has a deceptive turn of pace and a good range of handling skills which will help him fit seamlessly into our style of rugby. He is also an excellent technician at the front of the lineout which along with his scrummaging strength will help us to achieve our aim of having one of the best set piece games in the league. Similarly to our other signings this season his character played a major role in why we wanted him at the club. As the current Berkshire captain Sam is someone that has the ability to lead through his actions but also to engage with the players on a personal level. His desire to return to a higher level of rugby and test himself is a testament to his attitude and I know that as a club we are well set up to help him thrive in this environment and help him develop as a player. As with all our other signings this summer it will be exciting to see how our current crop of talented players respond to the challenge of new arrivals and it is my hope that it will encourage them to work even harder in developing their game.”

Dom Birch is rumoured to have put down a deposit on a new boat, in anticipation of increased bar takings through Sam’s arrival, which ties in nicely with his new pricing strategy of £8 a pint, and £1 per use of the upstairs toilets, whilst forwards coach Mark ‘Badger’ Bates is so happy with the new additions to his pack, he gave Prinny a headbutt and then updated his Tinder profile.

In both games against Maidenhead last season, and in previous fixtures whilst representing Redingensians, his former club, Hallett has proved a thorn in Maids’ side, with his destructive ball-carrying regularly putting defences on the back-foot. It’s no surprise that other clubs were in for Hallett, but fortunately for us, he’s opted to play in magenta- he had this to say about joining:

“Having played against Maids last year, I loved the playing style and feel I can absolutely add some grunt up front. Personally for me, I want to prove myself in National 3, and I feel this team is the way to do that. Tremendous facilities, coaching, and from what I’ve seen, decent lads, all went towards my decision. I’m very much looking forward to my initiation away to Camborne, and confident that the other new signings won’t be able to keep up.

We look forward to welcoming Sam and his family to Braywick, and we’re confident he’ll make a big impact at the club.

Further new signings are due to be announced over the next month, so keep an eye out on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Come on you Maids!


Angell commits to Maids!

Angell commits to Maids!

The next member of the Maidenhead Galacticos is now confirmed! The club are extremely pleased that Sam Angell (pictured above with Will Greenwood and fellow new signings, Mark and Andy Darlington) has opted to follow Andy and Mark into the magenta of Maids, from Chinnor. Angell’s introduction back into the Chinnor 1st XV last season (15/16), when they were sitting rock bottom of National 2, sparked a remarkable upsurge in form, which saw them finish an impressive 6th place. Angell is a ball-playing centre, with a big boot and big defence, who is equally at home in the number 10 shirt, and will provide the scintillating Maids backline with even more quality and depth.

Commenting on his decision to come aboard the Maids train, Sam said:

“I am really excited to be joining Maidenhead! After speaking with coaches and players their ambitions, ideas and culture is something that was well aligned with what I am looking for. The club as a whole has a great feel and with the added challenge of National 3 next year it is going to be an exciting season ahead!”

Sam was one of a few key players that were recognised early in the recruitment process, and after several conversations and meetings, Head Coach Russell Bolton, and DoR Tony Brooks, were left with little doubt, that Sam would be a great asset to the team, both on the pitch, but just as importantly, off the pitch- the social side, the training paddock and around the club.

Bolton is clearly delighted with the latest acquisition, and says of Sam:

“I am delighted that Sam Angell has chosen to join Maidenhead RFC. As a lifelong Chinnor player I know it has been a tough decision for him to make but I am pleased that he sees the potential in what we are looking to achieve and we are excited about him playing a big part in our future. As a player he will provide competition in the centres where we now have excellent depth and will challenge Rorie Hannigan, Ed Keohane and Christoph Bart for a starting place. This along with some promising talent in our 2nd XV and the expected return of Jon Heron we feel we are well placed to be highly competitive in the midfield in the South West Premier Division. Sam’s ability to switch seamlessly into the number 10 role means we have acquired not only someone who has the potential to get us consistently over the tackle line but also a player who is comfortable on the ball and will bring other players into the game around him. This fits with the brand of rugby that we intend to continue playing and we look forward to Sam’s contribution and ideas on how we can continue to improve in this area. Off the field he has excellent character and will fit seamlessly into our tight knit squad. I know that the chance to be a part of genuine rugby club with a strong bond between the players and a real connection with the supporters was key to Sam’s decision and I am delighted that Maidenhead RFC ticked those boxes for him. This signing only adds to the excitement for me and the coaches to get to work in pre-season and see what this squad is capable of achieving.”

There are exciting times ahead for Maids, with at least a couple more signings imminent, as well as the additions to the senior squad of some ex-Colts, and young players returning from university. Pre-season officially commences on July 4th, but the squad is already working hard, meeting once a week at Windsor Crossfit.

Preparation for life in the league above has started well, but the club are under no illusions as to the size of the task ahead, especially after their experience at level 5 last time round. There is however, a steely edge to this squad, and a determination that Maids won’t be there simply to make up the numbers.

Keep an eye out for further news and signings in the coming weeks… #bleedmagenta


All aboard the Maids train!

All aboard the Maids train!

We are absolutely delighted to announce, that we have secured the services of both Andy and Mark Darlington from Chinnor, for our National 3 (now named South West Premier) campaign, next season. Andy and Mark, a tighthead prop and hooker respectively were highly sought after, by various Nat 1 and 2 clubs, so Head Coach, Russ Bolton, was quite rightly, over the moon to have them onboard at the Braywick Bearpit. Bolton said;

“I’m incredibly excited about the Darlington brothers’ decision to join Maidenhead Rugby Club. We identified them very early on as players who could play a huge part in what we want to achieve, which is being competitive in the league above with a longer-term ambition of being able to challenge in the upper reaches of the South West Premier Division (formerly National 3). A big element of what we want to achieve is to ensure we have the right characters in our squad and from our first meeting with Mark and Andy it was clear that not only will they fit in perfectly with the group we currently have but they will add to our environment. From a rugby point of view we know that we need greater strength in depth in our front row. A better league means more physicality, more injuries and we need a group of players that can ensure we win set piece ball and offer themselves around the park. With their International pedigree and background in coaching we feel they are the perfect players to not only hold their own on the park but also develop the talented group of front rowers that we already have at the club. I am confident that Myke Parrott, Nic Jones and Lewis Jones will all become better players as a result of the increased competition and through the shared learning that this group can create. Combine that with hard working youngsters Umar Marriott and Paul Englezos I think we will have front row options that other clubs in the league will be jealous of. These signings are a clear statement from the club that we will support the talented group of players we already have to thrive in level 5 rugby.”

Originally from Fylde RFC, the brothers have most recently plied their trade with National 2 South high-fliers Chinnor, and also represent the Dutch national team, whom they qualify for on a residency basis, after spending some considerable time playing professionally in Holland. Talking about their decision to switch from Nat 2 Chinnor, for Nat 3 Maids, they said:

“We are both really looking forward to getting stuck into training, the atmosphere and club culture at Maids!

From the moment we spoke with Myke and then further with Russ and Tony, it was evident of the club’s ambition and drive to move forward.

With great facilities, a close-knit squad and the challenge of moving into Nat 3, we knew it was something we wanted to be a part of”

This is a huge coup for Maids, and indicative of the ambition the club has. With further impressive signings set to be announced over the summer, coach Russ Bolton will be confident that his ambitious squad has what it takes to compete at level 5.

Watch this space for further updates on new additions…