MRFC News 2015/16
Welcome to Maidenhead RFC's news and events page
There is lots going on at the club and here we hope to keep you up to date with what's coming up and reports on recent events.
400 club winners
Congratulations go this months 400 club winners.
The draw was made on Sunday 5th June by Mr Paul Henderson
Congratulations go to May's 400 club winners
Josh Birch Films -The Apache 7s
Check out Josh Birch Films video highlights of the recent Apache 7s tournament!
400 Club Winners
3 Goodman DR
1 Bowen P
2 Lymburn RJ
3 Cooley John
1 Jones CG
2 Hing RWB
3 Sawyers DC
1 Cooley John
2 Price A
3 Chamberlain G
1 Wilkinson JM
2 MacDonald A
3 Harries AG & A
1 Harrington P
3 Egan Sean
1 Miller CM
2 Evans DM
1 Bough SE
2 Benwell RW
3 Parrot EJ&FM
March's Player - Myke Parrott
Myke deservedly gets this month's award as recognition for all the hard work he has put in to ensure that our efforts to move the club forward are transferred through to the playing squad.
Myke has been integral in ensuring that our values of Integrity, Teamwork, Respect, Pride and Enjoyment are really lived throughout the playing squad and has the Maidenhead colours coursing through his veins. He was the instigator behind the recent visit of our senior players to support the minis section.
On top of his work off the field, Myke also led us to two outstanding home victories this month. The first against league leaders Towcestrians and the second against local rival Windsor. Both were fantastic performances and his leadership was exemplary in both.
Russ Bolton commented "We are pleased to be able to recognise Myke for this season's efforts. He has done an awful lot for the club but I have been impressed with his own development on the pitch. His game has improved a lot from the beginning of the season and he is learning all the time about captaining this side."
Under 12s go all out for George
This Sunday, 20th March 2016 saw the Under 12s step up to campaign to find a cure for Leukaemia.
George Ferriman, the 3 year old brother of squad member, Charlie is fighting against his diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and the Under 12s wanted to do something to help him in his fight! As they were fielding 3 sides across 2 rugby tournaments - the 2016 Marlow RFC Minis tournament, and the Slough Minis Tournament, the squad decided to raise money for George via a sponsored try score with all proceeds going towards finding a cure.
The drive was an outstanding success with all 3 teams being unbeaten all day, and 3 wins and a second place on points difference.
What a great success! 64 tries for and 9 against should see a good collection for George.
Ryan Long is Player of the Month
Ryan picks up this month's player of the month award due to the impact he has made since his arrival at the club at Christmas.
"Longy" has arrived from Chinnor and raised the standards expected of all of our players in terms of fitness, performance and attitude. He has been present at every training session and available for every game and performs to a consistently high standard.
He has also made an impact in other areas of the club taking time to work with groups in our minis section on two consecutive Sundays and being a positive leadership example across our senior sides.
It is our hope that Ryan will play a big part in the future success of the club and we look forward to his continuing impressive performances for our 1st XV.
Nick Barakoff - Player of the Month
Nick is the worthy recipient of the January player of the month award because of his outstanding work in taking on more responsibility for developing our 3rd XV.
Head Coach Russell Bolton commented "it is great to be able to recognise and reward somebody like Nick for the contributions that he is making toward the club. Although a lot of focus tends to land on how the 1st XV are doing it is important to note that the 3rd XV are taking great strides too. Nick is playing a vital role in improving the way we communicate with players across the club and ensuring that we have relevant and up to date information on players. He has helped to set up the running of our new social training on Thursday nights, which has seen plenty of players returning to the club as well as some brand new ones. The hard work that is being done by Nick along with some of his team mates will ensure that social rugby at the club will continue to thrive for a long time and this will provide the foundations for the club to continue to move forward as a whole in the future."
Congratulations to Nick.
If you would like to find out how you can contribute further to the club then please speak to one of the management team.
The Alexander Devine Children's Hospice
Maidenhead RFC is delighted to announce that we have teamed up to support the great work that Alexander Devine is undertaking in developing children's hospice services to support families across Berkshire.
Our members have already started to raise funds through collections at home matches and via the collection box on the bar, but our partnership will be officially launched today prior to the game against Reading.
Collections will also be made at the home games against Windsor RFC and High Wycombe RFC.
In addition, a grand Charity Dinner will be hosted by the club on Friday 16th September attended by Theresa May, Roger Dakin as master of ceremonies and a host of additional famous personalities. Full details of the dinner will be released in the coming weeks.
We hope that all members will help the club support this very worthwhile local cause.
More on MRFC's support for The Alexander Devine Children's Hospice here
It is with deep regret that the club announces the passing of one of its most active members. James Heley died during the Christmas holiday following a short illness.
We send our deepest condolences to Caroline and Chris, to his family and close friends. James had a 25 year association with the club, starting as an age group coach, he ran the Youth Tournament on several occasions and held the position of Youth Chairman. At the family's request the funeral will be private.
Club members will be given an opportunity to remember James's life and celebrate his contribution to the club.
Details will be announced in due course.
Any donations in James's memory should be sent to the Thames Valley Hospice. Details can be found at
Player of the Month - James Emmanuel
James Emmanuel James "Eman" Emmanuel is the recipient of this month's award because of the excellent work he has been doing to help the club behind the scenes.
In particular James has been outstanding in creating promotional material to help us advertise the club to new players. It is a vital part of our development plan for the club to increase numbers within all senior sections and hopefully work towards putting out a 4th XV. It is a credit to James' attitude and commitment to the club that he is willing to give up his own time to help us achieve that aim.
It is not only in this recruitment drive that James has been helping out but also took on a role of New Player Mentor in pre-season and also put together a welcome pack for new players, something that we hope will be important at the end of this current season. He also organised the recent players Christmas dinner which was a great success.
Combine all this with his performances in the 1st XV this season and he really is a valuable member of the club. Well done James.
Previous player of the month winners: July - Jon Heron / August - Mike James / September - Nic Jones / October - Mike Skelton / December - James Emmanuel
2015 '400 Club' Winners
First; £100 - Mrs Fitzgibbon
Second; £50 - G Chamberlain
Third; £30 - J Dance
First; £100 - G Fisher
Second; £50 - Harries AG&A
Third; £30 - G Fisher
First; £100 - Bennett BJ
Second; £50 - Laurence Thomas
Third; £30 - Young KM
First; £100 - Andrew-Jones G
Second; £50 - Woodroffe AJ
Third; £30 - Harries AG&A
May/June Combined Draw
First; £200 - Prince M
Second; £100 - Greene A
Third; £60 - Jones CG
July/August Combined Draw
First; £200 - Marshal AC
Second; £100 - Cowen AGY&EF
Third; £60 - Emanuel A
Sept-Dec to follow
Parrott's Newbury preview
This Saturday (December 5th), Maidenhead look to reverse a disappointing run of 3 consecutive defeats, when they host Newbury Blues, brimming with confidence after their impressive 13-5 victory against Towcestrians a week ago.
This week, we catch up with new recruit, Christoph Bart, who has caught the eye, with some impressive performances already this term;
-having previously played at a higher level, in Nat 1, what made you want to come back and play at Maids?
"Maidenhead is where rugby started for me so I have a lot of old friends in the club. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Henley but with injuries affecting my performance I wanted to take a step away from such a serious level of rugby and focus on enjoying the game. There was only one place I was going."
-are you enjoying yourself so far?
"Absolutely, we've had a great start to the season and everyone seems to be buying into the new coach Russ. It's been great to be back at the club and I appreciate how welcoming everyone has been! Although we have had some results go against us in the last few weeks I have no doubt that we will be finishing in the top half of the table this year and enjoying doing it!"
-what do we need to against Newbury this week, to return to winning ways?
"I feel like we have to really test ourselves and take ourselves out of our comfort zone. We have had some bad results recently and it's easy to fall into the routine of getting knocked back. On Saturday we need to come out of the changing room with some urgency about us and play with pace and flair for 80 minutes. We started this season with a winning streak and put hard work in to do so, now it's time to put the work in to get back to those ways. We should be crawling off the pitch on Saturday with a W in the bag!"
In the Newbury line up, Maids will have to keep a keen eye on their pacy back division, led by skipper and 13, Dan Thorne. In the pack, the ever-present Graeme Stewart starts at tighthead, with Ben Hicks in the loose head shirt. There are returns to the Maidenhead starting XV this week for Chris Holden and Paul Britton upfront, while the backs are bolstered by the return of Mathieu Abiven, who missed the Windsor game when his bike got a puncture on the way.
Maids team: 1/ Parrott (c), 2/ Jones, 3/ Britton, 4/ Emmanuel, 5/ Churchyard, 6/ White, 7/ Muil, 8/ Holden, 9/ Childerhouse, 10/ Virgay, 11/ Davies, 12/Heron, 13/Bart, 14/ O'Keeffe, 15/ Abiven, 16/ Kingsley, 17/ Burke, 18/ Evans
Newbury team: 1/ Hicks, 2/ Drysdale, 3/ Stewart, 4/ O'Shea, 5/ Doel, 6/ Stewart, 7/ Love, 8/ Winfield, 9/ Piggott, 10/ Trevaskis, 11/ Denner, 12/ Herriot, 13/ Thorne, 14/ Futcher, 15/ Bartlett, 16/ Sanders, 17/ Davis, 18/ Thorne
Come on you Maids!
Phil White - November's Player of the Month
Phil is the winner of the November player of the month award due to his dedication to the club and his consistently high performances.
Phil, although one of the quieter members of our senior squad has been speaking volumes with his energetic and determined performances for the 1st XV this season.
Last year Phil was in and out of the 1st XV but through his hard work and attitude has become one of the first names on the team sheet.
Russ Bolton commented on Phil "Phil has been outstanding this season and epitomises the type of player we want in our squad. He is at every training session, on time and focused and if there is extra work to be done he is first in the queue to do it. On the field his expertise at the lineout has been crucial and he is coming more and more into the game as an important ball carrier. He also has the respect of his team mates because they understand how much of the unseen work he does which allows others to flourish."
Previous player of the month winners: July - Jon Heron / August - Mike James / September - Nic Jones / November - Mike Skelton.
Captain's Windsor Preview
After a disappointing result, and performance last week against Towcestrians, Maids will be looking to bounce back to winning ways this Saturday, when they face Berkshire rivals Windsor. Both sides come into the game on runs poor form, but that often counts for little in derby matches.
Maids will be wary of Windsor outside centre Pat Birch, who always seems to find the try line in these fixtures, while influential flanker Tom King, without doubt man-of-the-match in this game last year, will surely trouble the magenta defence with his hard running. We caught up with 2nd row Phil White this week, who says: "Our discipline last week was what let us down, we got into good field positions and let them off the hook with silly penalties which gave them the momentum. We worked hard on getting this right on Tuesday and need to put this into practice on Saturday." White is 'pretty happy' with the season so far, commenting "from finishing down near the bottom of the table last year to switching things around and getting back near the top of the table shows the amount of effort the players and coaches have been putting in. This week, against Windsor in a local Derby and on their home patch are going come out strongly and want to put a marker down. Like us they will have been targeting this game from the start of the season and want to show that last year's result was no fluke."
We also spoke to flanker Will Cadden, who, when questioned on his thoughts for the game, responded "I loves my new alphabet spaghetti. Yesterday, I counted to F".
Maidenhead welcome back fullback Tom Finnie and hooker Nic Jones from injury, and Matt Burke is back in the starting 15, replacing the injured Cadden. Frenchman Mathieu Abiven is unavailable, so Frankie O'Keeffe makes his first start. Sam Churchyard is expected to be fit, after suffering a head injury at the hands of the Winkers' doormen last week.
Maids team: 1/Parrott (c), 2/Jones, 3/Kingsley, 4/Churchyard, 5/White, 6/Emmanuel, 7/Burke, 8/Muil, 9/Childerhouse, 10/Nash, 11/Davies, 12/Heron, 13/Bart, 14/O'Keeffe, 15/Finnie, 16/Savage, 17/Holden, 18/Basson Come on you Maids!
Myke Parrott's Towcestrians Preview
This week's fixture sees Maidenhead travel to top-of-the-table, and title favourites Towcestrians. On the back of an impressive 32-6 victory over Windsor last week, Maids face a tough challenge to keep up the pace at the upper end of the league.
Tows' victory last week was based on a strong set piece, with their well organised pack, led by skipper Zac Osbourne pushing Windsor back at will in the scrum, and the pinpoint kicking accuracy of full back James Falvey. Maidenhead will have to ensure their discipline is up to recent standards, and not give Falvey any opportunity for shots at goal.
Speaking to Maidenhead's Sam Churchyard (above), it seems the boys are keen to rectify the disappointing home loss to Oxford Harlequins a week ago; "we just didn't keep hold of the ball well enough last week, and got turned over at the break down too often. No doubt, this game is huge for us, and a big test against the league leaders, but we're confident, that if we stick to our game plan and believe in ourselves, we can win".
Maids will be grateful of the timely return of Paul Nash at fly-half, who replaces the injured Perry Jansen. There are also recalls to the starting line-up for Jon Heron and Sam Churchyard, while Tom Simpson is unavailable, due to his cat's birthday.
Maids team to play Tows: 1/Parrott (c), 2/Cullivan, 3/Kingsley, 4/Churchyard, 5/White, 6/Holden, 7/Cadden, 8/Muil, 9/Childerhouse, 10/Nash, 11/Skelton, 12/Heron, 13/Bart, 14/Abiven, 15/Davies, 16/Savage, 17/Emmanuel, 18/O'Keefe
Come on you Maids!
October Player of the Month - Mike Skelton
Mike is the winner of the October player of the month award due to his outstanding attitude that has been prevalent over the past few months.
Mike has had a good month on the field, playing an important role in several 1st XV victories largely out of position on the wing. His performance at Leighton Buzzard was particularly influential and his work rate and composure to make good decisions created a couple of the teams tries. His challenge now is to break in to his preferred centre position and keep hold of the shirt.
Mike is a great example of the type of players we want at the club as he gives 100% every game regardless of which side he finds himself in and is always working to improve on his weaknesses and develop his strengths further. It is a huge credit to him that his name has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the award every time we have selected and are delighted that we can finally reward him for his hard work. Congratulations Mike.
Previous player of the month winners: July - Jon Heron / August - Mike James / September - Nic Jones
Myke Parrott's Captain's Preview
This week, we welcome 2014 champions, Oxford Harlequins to Braywick, in what we anticipate to be another tough, hard-fought encounter. Quins boast a big pack, and Maidenhead supporters will surely remember their hard-hitting centre, Keni Fisilau. Jack Robinson from full back looks to be a real threat for Quins, and his strong, elusive running from deep, will be something for the boys to be wary of. Although they haven't enjoyed the kind of start they'd hoped for, following relegation from National 3 last year, they come off the back of an impressive 25-25 draw against title favourites Towcestrians last Saturday.
Last week, Maidenhead overcame local adversaries Reading, 15-13, in a real ding-dong battle, and Maids' Scrum-Half Mark Childerhouse (top) commented "considering the wet conditions, we created some good scoring opportunities and scored a great team try, with the other a result of us putting Reading under pressure. Our togetherness and fitness also stood out. This week we need to cut out some of the mistakes and handling errors and keep hold of the ball. If we can go through our phases and put teams under pressure, upping the tempo in the opposition half."
When asked what he expects from Quins, Mark replied "Having come down from the National Leagues, I'd expect them to be fairly strong - but they've had a mixed start to the season. Last time we played them at home, we put in a massive performance - so hopefully we'll repeat that on Saturday."
Maids' team to play Oxford: 1/Parrott (c), 2/Cullivan, 3/Kingsley, 4/Emmanuel, 5/White, 6/Holden, 7/Cadden, 8/Muil, 9/Childerhouse, 10/Jansen, 11/Simpson, 12/Skelton, 13/Bart, 14/Abiven, 15/Davies, 16/Savage, 17/Churchyard, 18/Heron
Oxford team: 1/Marshall, 2/Edney, 3/Boulton, 4/Purchase (c), 5/Sharpe, 6/Milton, 7/Battson, 8/Alston, 9/O'Brien, 10/Dimond, 11/Poulet, 12/Fisilau, 13/Exley, 14/Kelly, 15/Robinson, 16/Coe, 17/Yeates, 18/Crowe
Come on you Maids!
Mohawks receive RFU Legacy Gold Standard Award
Rob Andrew came to the club last Wednesday to present to Mohawks Touch Rugby Section with the Legacy Gold Standard Award from the RFU for the work the club has done to increase participation in rugby through O2 Touch. Maidenhead RFC is 1 of only 15 of the 275 O2 Touch Centres to receive this award.
RFU Professional Rugby Director Rob Andrew said "it was great to come and see first-hand the work Maidenhead RFC has been doing and present this award. Maidenhead RFC is a fantastic example of a leading O2 Touch Centre that is connected with the local community and increasing participation of the game through mixed touch".
The Mohawks train on Wednesdays at the club from 7-8.30pm. Everyone aged 14+ is welcome to join in and training is FREE for MRFC members.
September Player of the month - Nic Jones
Nic receives the player of the month award for September after impressing both on and off the field. Nic has been an ever present member in the 1st XV this season following his return to the club after University.
His positivity and determination as well as some outstanding breakdown skills and an improving set piece has been a major factor in our successful start to the season.
Although his on-field work has been a factor in receiving this month's award it is perhaps his contribution to the club outside of his playing commitments that have been most notable. Nic can regularly be found supporting the younger age groups on their training nights. He is keen to give back to the club and has been providing one on one coaching to hookers throughout the age groups.
It is this selfless attitude that really confirms that type of players we want in our senior section and perfectly reflects our team values.
Congratulations Nic, we hope you have another outstanding month.
August Player of the month - Mike James
Mike James Mike gets this month's award due to the sheer amount of hard work and enthusiasm he has contributed throughout the entirety of pre-season.
It has been noted by many just how improved his fitness has been and this has resulted in a growing presence within his gameplay.
As an ex-colt it is really pleasing to see someone who wants to better themselves and reach their potential as a rugby player in the club he grew up at.
Coach Russell Bolton commented "We have been really impressed with Mike this pre-season. To see how far he has come in terms of his fitness levels is a credit to the hard work he has put in. The bonus is that he can now put his energy into learning to play the game and this resulted in a fantastic performance in pre-season vs Twickenham. If Mike continues to work hard he can become an integral member of our 2nd XV and with continued gains in his fitness may be able to push for a 1st XV place in the future."
Congratulations Mike and keep up the good work.
Previous player of the month winners:
July - Jon Heron
Mini Mohawks on BBC Newsround
The Junior Section of Maidenhead RFC's Touch Rugby Club "Mohawks" were paid a visit by BBC Newsround last week and featured in Friday's programme. For those of you who missed it, click on the links below to see what the children have been getting up to!
Autumn touch rugby training for both boys and girls (aged 6-15 from 6-7pm) and men and women (aged 14+ from 7-8.30pm) has started on Wednesday evenings up at the club. We will also be running a touch rugby half term camp during the October holidays from Mon 26 to Wed 28 October. Please contact Sammie for more details (PhillipsSamantha@rocketmail.com / 07766 525 938) and get involved in the non-contact version of rugby.
Samsung School of Rugby
The Samsung School of rugby promotions were recently filmed on the pitch at Maidenhead. The first of the 'lessons' can be viewed on the Samsung YouTube channel with more to come.
Click here to watch.
Maidenhead Krakow Tour 2016
National Touch Series - Maidenhead (Round 2)
Maidenhead RFC put on a fantastic touch tournament on Saturday in which the top 28 mixed touch teams in the country competed to be crowned National Champions (see photo gallery). There was some spectacular games of touch played and local team Thames Valley Vikings, based in Reading, won the Bowl Final and the Cup Final was hotly contested by London team Bareback Riders against Wigan Touch with the Northern youngsters eventually winning the day with some superb diving tries. The Carnival themed party continued late into the night starting in the clubhouse with a procession of players (and feathers) all the way into town. There were a few sore heads in the touch community Sunday morning. A big thank you to all of the MRFC players, coaches, committee members and staff for their help in making the event so successful.
Maidenhead RFC announces Head Coach
Captain Myke Parrott welcomes Head Coach Russell Bolton
Maidenhead RFC announces the appointment of former Reading Abbey coach Russell Bolton as their Head Coach for the 2015/16 season. Bolton, an England Rugby Community Coach since 2012, is RFU Level 3 qualified. He is a young, forward-thinking coach who has worked in elite and amateur rugby in England as well as in Italy where he was Director of Rugby at Valtellina Rugby Sondalo. He is also involved at Reading University where he still coaches the Ladies team, and has also previously held a Development post with Wasps Academy.
MRFC Director of Rugby Tony Brooks says, "Firstly, Russell has the rather important matter of getting married this week, so the club wishes him and his fiancee a very happy day. He arrives at Braywick following a very successful last season coaching Reading Abbey to an unbeaten BBO Premier league title. We've been impressed with Russ's coaching philosophy and his desire to create an inclusive playing culture that encourages players to contribute to and manage their general style of play."
Brooks adds, "Russell, a former back, is an ambitious coach who will inevitably bring a fresh approach to a senior coaching team already boasting club stalwart Mark Bates, Brad Pennington, Mike Andrew, and Gareth Andrews-Jones. Former England Sevens international Chris Cracknell will also be involved as technical coaching consultant as and when his other coaching commitments allow."
In addition to one or two other anticipated new recruits, Brooks says, "We're also delighted to have former Henley winger/centre Christoph Bart returning to the club. He started out with Maidenhead and played through the age groups and at Colts level before moving on to Henley. Christoph brings power and pace as well as his experience of playing at National League 1 level, so he'll certainly be a welcome addition to the squad".
Mohawks players at the Touch World Cup 2015
Congratulations to Maidenhead RFC Mohawks players and coaches who took part in the Touch World Cup 2015 in Australia and returned home this week with bronze medals for their efforts!
Mohawks representing England Senior Women Touch Team: Will Ten Broeke, Coach (standing, far right), Sammie Phillips, Player/Coach (bottom row, 4th from left), Kat Spring, Player (standing, 4th from right), Lucy Richardson, Player (standing, 6th from left).
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