05:00PM, Thursday 27 May 2021
Maidenhead’s squad for the new season is ‘90 per cent complete’ according to head coach David Mobbs-Smith, but work will continue through the off-season to sign one or two more.
Mobbs-Smith expects to go into the new London & South East Premier season with more or less the squad he’s got now, but the team will look very different to the one that last took to the field for a competitive game against Barnstaple on May 7, 2020.
Ben Mitchell has taken over from Myke Parrott as club captain while there’s been plenty of coming and going from Braywick Park over the past 15 months.
Andy Darlington, Sam Hallett, Ross Muil, Sam Rawsthorne and Joe Parkin have all moved on for a variety of reasons, while the likes of David Kilcoyne, James Macaulay, Liam Gilbert, Will Cadden, Joe Keohane, Nic Jones, Josh Ashby-Moscardini, Will Lawrence and Lewis Jones have come in, many of them returning to the fold as senior players having been colts.
“It’s 90 per cent complete,” said Mobbs-Smith. “A few players we’re trying to sign or get in on loan and those deals will be negotiated throughout the off-season.
“Pretty much the squad we have is more or less what we’ll have for the season, but there will certainly be names that are new to you on the teamsheet. Some have been at university and were on the fringes of it as colts and are now coming back to the side as 21-year-olds. There are others who were 35 and are now 37.”
After playing their ‘post-season’ matches against Oxford Harlequins (twice) and Oxford University, Maids will take a short break before returning later than usual for pre-season. The plan is to fit another short break into pre-season to ensure players don’t suffer from mental or physical fatigue when the new season is underway.
“That’s more for mental fatigue for the season,” he said.
“The lads aren’t mentally or physically fatigued now, but we’ll take those breaks for the road that’s ahead. Even playing these post season matches might be a factor in April and we’ve discussed this and how long the season will feel, even with a break.
“Pre-season will be later, and we’ll also take a few weeks off during that, so the hope is we’ll get the balance right.
“We can afford to do that because we’ve trained so much through the non-playing season.
“We’re fit enough to play rugby now, but we need a little bit of conditioning with regards to contact.”
MP Joy Morrissey has raised concerns after learning that a Burnham Health Centre patient has been unable to obtain a GP appointment despite ‘numerous’ attempts.