Big Bez Bowls into Braywick

Big Bez Bowls into Braywick

Following the backline additions of first Niall Crossley, and then Olly Foxley, Maids have added to their forwards options, by adding Andy Berry to their already impressive armoury. Berry (‘Bez’) joins up with fellow ex Chinnor teammates Andy and Mark Darlington at Braywick, and follows Foxley down the M4 from Reading, joining from National 2 front runners, Redingensians, with whom he spent last season, earning a place in the National 2 Team of the Year, as published in the Rugby Paper.

Sadly, owing to a neck injury, Berry will be moving from his recently familiar position of tighthead prop, to a place in the back 5 of the scrum, covering back row and 2nd row, something not alien to him, as for the majority of his early rugby journey, he appeared in the back row, for both Wasps and Chinnor as a junior. After transitioning to the front row, Berry made England squads at U16 and U18 level, and later went on to represent Old Albanians in National 1, earning a call up to the England Counties squad. Talking about his decision to sign up for Bolton’s Charges, he had this to say:

 

“I have joined Maids on the basis that it is a real Rugby Club first and foremost. It has a sense of family values and the lads are all a great laugh who look out for one another. It was never an easy decision to leave my previous club, Rams, who I am thankful for a great season last year. They operate a similar sense of values and so this will be an easy transition for me. Having injured my neck and moving out of the front row, I am excited about the prospect of trying to break into the Maids 1XV somewhere else in the pack as we try and mount a promotion from SW Premier”.

 

 Berry in action for Redingensians last season

Player recruitment can often be a complex process, and the number 1 criteria when looking for new additions to the squad, is always a player’s character, and whether they will embrace the culture and values that are held in such high regard at Braywick. Various members of the squad got to know Berry socially over the last couple of seasons, and all gave glowing recommendations to Bolton, and DoR Gareth Andrews-Jones about his suitability. After conducting his research, Bolton made up his mind on Berry, and is convinced that he has the ball-carrying ability and aggression to make an impact in either the back row or 2nd row in magenta. He commented:

 

“Signing Andy is a real coup for Maidenhead RFC. He has been a really important player for Redingensians and Chinnor in recent seasons and I am delighted that he will be joining what we hope will be the most competitive pack in the league. Due to recent injury problems he is having to make the transition from front row into the back five and I’m pleased that Andy sees us as a club that will support him with that and we certainly see the potential he can offer us in those positions. I watched a number of games of his for Ensians last season and he showed a real determination and skill set to play open attacking rugby and think he will really fit in to the Maidenhead way of playing. Andy has already made a positive contribution in our early training sessions and I’m looking forward to seeing his quality in our South West Premier fixtures.”

The signing of Berry, after the announcement of Zoran Higgins last week almost concludes Bolton’s transfer business this summer, but there will soon be a rundown on some other new players to the squad, who have moved to the area, been promoted from the Academy or have joined from other local clubs. Watch this space!

 

#COYM #bleedmagenta

 

 

Advertisements

Higgins Commits to Maids

Higgins Commits to Maids

Maids Head Coach, Russell Bolton has pulled off another transfer coup, with the acquisition of highly rated Zoran Higgins, who will join the backroom staff, primarily working as a Forwards Coach across the senior squad.

Higgins, who has top flight playing experience with Bath and Richmond, and who occasionally still dons the boots in Vets fixtures, is a former openside flanker, and one of his primary tasks this year, will be to improve the teams’ efficiency at the breakdown, something which is an area of specialism for him. Bolton felt for a while that his squad would benefit from an expert in this area, if they are to realise their ambition of a top 2 finish this season, and after tracking Higgins for a while, he was finally able to land his man, just before the commencement of preseason, last week. He commented:

“I’m delighted to welcome Zoran as part of our coaching team for the new season. I felt it was key that going into this season we added a new voice and new ideas to help us reach our aims and when looking at coaches who could help us do this Zoran was right at the top of the list.

I have worked with Zoran since my time at Wasps so I know very well the qualities he will bring to the group. I am certain that he will be able to challenge and improve our current group of forwards who I believe have the potential to be the most dominant and dynamic pack in the league. His experience of developing young players will also be critical in helping us to ensure that young Maidenhead players are ready and able to compete for 1st XV places.

I think it shows great ambition by the club to recruit someone of Zoran’s calibre and I know both players and coaches are eager to start working with him.”

Alongside Higgins, Bolton has confirmed various other additions to his coaching unit, welcoming Jack Pattinson, Dan Jacobs and Ed Parrott to the fold, all of whom will be assisting with the running of 3 senior sides this year, in a new-look squad structure. In what we believe to be a fairly unique set up at Maids, Bolton has confirmed that the club will be entering a team into the Zoo Shield this season, alongside a parallel 2nd XV, which will remain in BBO Prem, offering more players at Maids the opportunity to play competitive rugby. The 3rd XV will be continuing in their current guise as a social XV, under the stewardship of Dewald Cilliers.

In addition to the new recruits in the coaching unit, Bolton has unveiled his Senior Leadership team for the coming campaign. Mark Darlington has been formally named Vice Captain for the squad, and will be joined by senior players Will Macauley, Richard Barber and Will Runciman, along with Myke Parrott, who will continue in his role as 1st XV captain.

Backroom staff and roles:

 

·         Gareth Andrews-Jones – Director of Rugby

·         Russ Bolton – Head Coach

·         Zoran Higgins – Forwards coach

·         Will Greenwood – Backs coach

·         Mark Bates – Assistant coach

·         Jack Pattinson – Assistant coach

·         Ed Parrott – 2nd XV Manager

·         Dan Jacobs – 2nd XV Coach

·         Rob Churchouse – S&C Coach

·         Sharlene Bertie – Head Physio

·         Sam Jarman – Psychology support

·         Steph Caitlin – Nutrition support

·         David Pepper – Environment support

·         Stephen Bough – Chairman

·         Dominic Birch – Assistant Bar Manager/Chief Cheerleader

 

Senior Leadership group:

 

·         Myke Parrott- 1st XV Captain

·         Mark Darlington- 1st XV Vice Captain

·         Richard Barber

·         Will Macauley

·         Will Runciman

 

 

These are exciting times for the club, and with many of last year’s victorious Colts looking to make the step up, as well as the likes of Leroy Meek returning from University, the club looks in great shape, ahead of what is sure to be another tough season in SW Prem.

 

With another exciting playing addition to be announced shortly, along with the return to fitness of Tom Finnie, who missed most of last season through injury, Bolton is confident that his squad has what it takes to push on now and make a challenge for National 2 South.

 

Everyone at Maidenhead RFC wishes William Cadden the very best of luck, as he has been given an opportunity to be involved with a Championship outfit and has made the move to Richmond. Will has been an integral part of the squad for the last 5 years, and we’re sure he has the quality and drive to succeed. Good luck Will!