Maidstone FC Vice Presidents 2022
July 26th 2022
At this years AGM, two more Vice Presidents have been added to the history of Maidstone FC.
First was former Captain Lucian Morosan as he will be leaving the club at the start of August to live and play in Lincolnshire. The Romanian born Scrum-Half has been a very popular character at the club since he first joined in 2012. Lucian stuck with the club through the highs and lows of his tenure, giving 100% on and off the pitch in all aspects.
He leaves having racked up over 175 Caps for the 1st XV, winning three league titles, two Kent Plates, a Senior Vase, a Divisional Championship, a Regional Championship and last but by no means least, an Intermediate Cup.
All at the club wish him the very best, and hope to see him pull on the jersey once again, perhaps in the Veterans Cup Competition. We are honoured to call Lucian a Maidstone FC Vice President.
The second inductee joined the club in 1994. He was a mainstay at Second-Row for the Barbarian side before transitioning to the Veterans to add some youthful vigour, eventually becoming their captain three seasons ago. Karim has organised tours, rallied troops, organised friendlies and has always been happy to assist people needing car rides home. In what spare time he does have, Karim is always on hand to cut pitches and help out in other aspects of the grounds. For his long service to the club on many different fronts, we are delighted to welcome him as a Vice President.
The ties were presented at the AGM by outgoing President Paul Ehrhart, who steps down as of July 31st, to become the clubs Immediate Past President.
November 5th Roundup
November 7th 2022
After the warmest All Hallows Eve on record in the UK, the Autumn had finally arrived with fine rain and overcast conditions across much of the county. Fireworks were the order of the day in the evening, with The Mote offering views of MGS, Turkey Mill & Leeds Castle displays, but on the pitch the familiar tale of youth vs experience played out on the top pitch, and even the bottom pitch for that matter.
Three changes to the side occured in the lead up to the 1st XV game against Old Dunstonians and Maidstone started strongly once more, pushing into the opposition 22.
Alas, we came up empty and an overlap later on meant that OD's scored in the corner. The wet conditions meant that boths sides were progressing well with the forwards, but the bar of soap was proving difficult for the backs, especially the opposition winger. Several mistakes in the OD's half meant that our momentum was continuously foiled & the visitors' experience and longstanding playing time together started to show as they crossed for their third Try, once again in the corner. Maidstone did not give up but a knock-on in the centres and a failure to dive on the loose ball saw OD's scoop the ball up and get their bonus point Try. With eight minutes left to play they seemed keen to see the game out, but our lads kept fighting until the end, playing some great rugby, gaining their reward, albeit a consolation, with a converted Sam Pearson Try. All in all performances continue to improve but we do lack experience and cohesiveness at times. When you consider the young players we have and the caps to others players names on the team sheet, the future looks bright, but it will take some more time to click. Player individual development plans are being put in place to accelerate the learning curve, but it is just that at the moment, a curve. With the continued dertermination and togetherness the team seems to have right now, Rome may once again be built.
Credit this week goes to Veterans skipper Karim Neseyif, who saw the original fixture with Dover III bombed in midweek. After securing an alternate fixture against Crowborough away, this was also invalidated on Friday. To the rescue came Ashford Barbarians, who made the trip up the The Mote to ensure rugby got played this week. It was an entertaining and close match played in the right spirit where once again, perhaps experience won over youth. A huge thanks and get well soon messages to Rob Seal (possible dislocation of shoulder) and Mike Gillies (hyperextended knee) for plowing through for the cause. Try's came firstly through the verteran Tom Rodgers, proving he still has not lost his touch & and a fantastic break by second row Ian Lee, galloping one may say like a horse to score. The final Try came from Josh Tugwell, his first as a senior, playing on the same pitch as his father David Tugwell. A great break on the wing meant he crossed the whitewash, continuing the Tugwell legacy at the club along with his brother Ben. The aforementioned Rob Seal grabbed 2/3 conversions which sealed the victory in the end 19-17.
Finally, a special word on the referee who did a fantastic job in the middle. He was certainly the Wright man for the job!
An action packed weekend ahead for senior rugby as the 1st XV travel to Sevenoaks, who saw their unbeaten start to the season ended by a 42-0 loss to Park House. The Mustangs will host New Ash Green and the Veterans travel to Cinque Ports (St. Leonards-on-Sea) for their friendly encounter.
Sad News: Ray Vale
October 14th 2022
It is with great sadness that the club has been informed today of the passing of Vice President, Ray Vale.
Ray will be remembered during his long association with the club by the likes of former officials, players & captains such as Jim Tinsley, Sean Charlton, Des Diamond, Jon Legge, Ian Milsted and a plethora of others.
Holding posts throughout his time at the club, Ray was always keen to assist in so many aspects, whether it be Press Officer or even President itself. As a VP Ray would continue to support the club on match days and at pre-match lunches. He will be sadly missed by all at the club. MFC sends our thoughts & prayers to his son Phillip, as well as the entire family at this difficult time.
Ray's funeral will take place on Friday 11th November at the Vinters Park Crematorium, ME14 5LG. The funeral will begin at 1.15pm followed by the wake at the clubhouse. Our flag has also been lowered to half mast in honour of Ray.
October 29th Roundup
October 31st 2022
With a Halloween fancy dress social to look forward to, both our 1st & 2nd XV's were buoyant ahead of this weekends fixtures. The 1st team had returning players missing from last week, such as Lex Delamere-Ayling and Mikey Grice to help with the backline, whilst the Mustangs had 23 names on the team sheet having continued to recruit over the past few weeks. Both sides games were mirrored with drama until the end. Unfortunately for the Stones, we came up short on both ends.
The weather was unseasonally pleasant on the coast of Hastings & it has to be said that the grounds staff there have done a tremendous job, considering the sandpit it has been in the past. Then again, with no real rain to speak off, time will tell. The game was thrilling from the off with Maidstone taking the lead, only to be pegged back. Our boys continued to dominant possesion and a bulldozing run from Josh Smith put Maidstone back into the lead. Alas, from the restart a mistake on our 22 gave the hosts the impedance to attack from which they duly scored. In the second half Maidstone scored two more Try's, including a fantastic break from Adam Phillips who passed at the last second to vice captain Josh Hoare. Hastings & Bexhill kept in touch, taking advantage of penalty kicks & eventually pulled the game back to lead by a point, punishing a turnover on our own 5 metre line scoring a Try. A superb restart and gather from new recruit Jacob Worthinton resulted in us recieving a penalty with five minutes on the clock that Josh Wilton took full advantage from. In the last 120 seconds, we didn't keep our discipline and was over exuberant in the ruck, giving the hosts what would be the final, and winning penalty kick. 33-32, but at least we picked up two points.
Credit to Hastings & Bexhill for keeping in touch and punishing our infringements to take the win.
Our Mustangs took on Aylesford in the derby at home and like the 1st XV, lost in the last few minutes. A fantastic intercept Try from Thomas Rowe & a sublime penalty kick from Jason Smith meant that for much of the game Maidstone led. The tide turned when the ball went dead in our ingoal area and we attempted to hack the ball away rather than diving on it. The hack was missed due to the bobbling ball and the onrushing Aylesford attack dotted down for the score. A learning curve and there is always the next game to put things right. The player in question is an exceptional talent and like many of our players right now, will only get better with senior match experience. The final score 21-19, but a couple of points for the Mustangs in the bag.
So, a tale of two games, much the same. Some great rugby and many bright spots, only undone by inexperience. Experience comes with time, but it is encouraging that the road to that already is not looking as rocky as it did last season. Onto next week and the 1st XV host Old Dunstonians and our Veterans are back in action to play Dover III. The Mustangs will take a week off to reset and go again in a fortnight.
October 22nd Roundup
October 24th 2022
The weather was clement as the club welcomed sponsors to The Mote for a spot of lunch and gin tasting ahead of the clash with Gillingham Anchorians. Once again we had to bemoan late fitness test fails and work commitments which left us with a shuffled side once more. Credit to all those that took to the field in what was a very competivie first half. Gillingham struck early on, only for Maidstone to reply straight away with a deft chip through from Scrum-Half for the day Ben Nash, for a score in the corner. Just before the break, Gillingham scored once again, but it looked set for a tight second forty.
Having one lineout jumper meant that our play was one dimensional by default and the visitors certainly clocked onto this to begin disrupting to good effect. With a shuffled centre pairing due to unavailability meant that as the second half wore on, gaps emerged for the Anchorians to exploit which they duly punished. Maidstone did not give up and kept hitting up as hard as they could, with Tom Ireland back to his natural 8 position getting over the gain line all afternoon. Eventually, a quick lineout straight to skipper Will Fox got us ground which three phases later the Club Captain powered over the line himself to score a converted Try. An improved performance in truth with everybody giving all they could in another disjointed side. With players coming back this week and a trip to Hastings & Bexhill on the cards, we hope for a better result.
The Veterans travelled to Faversham, not for the traditional brewery tour, but for a game against the second string side. A tough week for skipper Karim Neseyif who had a cast of thouands come the end of the week, only to have an unprecedented number of late drop outs before kick off. Special thanks to Mark Ingram who zipped across the county to assist in making the scrums competitive. By all accounts it was a superb game, with a special note to the man in the middle of whom refereed exceptionally well. Alas, home field and numbers advantage paid dividends for the hosts, who took the spoils 26 - 14. Still, having only 13 men along with an entertaining game, meant the trip was still a good one, which we are sure some beers were still consumed after!
Next week, the 1st XV travel down to Hastings & Bexhill whilst the Mustangs host Aylesford III in the derby. The Veterans do not have a game scheduled at the moment, but if there are people willing, we're sure Captain Karim will accomodate. All of the action will precede the adult Halloween Fancy Dress party. It is likely to be a very messy night!
New MoTM Sponsor: Maidstone Distillery
June 29th 2022
The club is delighted to announce our new Man of The Match sponsor ahead of the 2022/2023 season; Maidstone Distillery!
Darren & Sam have lovingly restored the distillery, in the heart of our town. Set in a beautiful building where the local community can learn about its rich legacy. You can witness their spirits being made first hand, and experience the art of distilling in a fun and exciting way. Not only do they offer a wide selection of spirits, but you can take a tour, or even make your own! You can learn more on their website: themaidstonedistillery.com.
At the end of every 1st XV game, we will be notifying members of our Man of the Match as always, which will be sponsored the entire season by the Maidstone Distillery. We already host a few of their offerings behind the bar, so why not try them out?! The local company has also provided us with some fantastic prizes to give away, so keep an eye on those upcoming raffles throughout the season!
6Nations Ticket Ballot Winners
October 7th 2022
The ballot for the 2023 6Nations has closed today (Friday 7th October 2022), and the independent draw held.
The winners have all been notified via email and should any tickets be returned, first refusal will go to members who were unsuccessful in the first draw.
We have also had two returned tickets for the England v New Zealand Autumn International game.
The tickets are priced at a total of £358 and will go on a first come first served basis. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
October 15th Roundup
October 17th 2022
With the sad news this week of Ray Vale's passing our teams out held a one minute silence in his memory, in which we thank all oppositions for their respect in honouring. Selection headaches of the wrong kind again this week meant another stricken 1st XV outting down at Dover. Despite some tremendous heart shown and intestinal fortitude by Colt gradutate and Maidstone MoTM Rhys Tolley, we were quite frankly put to the sword.
The much more experienced backline of Dover cuased Maidstone issues all afternoon as they romped to a 69 - 12 victory. With players coming back from injury and work commitments, we hope for better tidings in the Christmas run-in.
The Mustangs played host to a Tunbridge Wells 3rd XV that could only bring 13 players. It was agreed that both teams would drop Flankers and no Number 8 pick-ups. It would seem that the Wells XV were far more familiar with the loop holes of that, scoring three tries from an 8 pick up and a quick pass to the 9 to score. In the second half, the Mustangs side themselves affected by the 1st XV injury/unavailability tribulations rallied well. The scrum became more dominant and the backs a little more cohesive as they scored three unanswered tries. The second half was shortenend to 30 minutes due to the pace everyone was feeling and perhaps an extra ten minutes might have seen the Mustangs fair even better against a fading Tunbridge Wells side. Take nothing away from the opposition though, as it was a thoroughly entertaining game which the correct side won, albeit by the slightly flattering scoreline of 43 - 25.
Our Veterans had a late rearranged friendly with Swanley as Crawley Vets could not raise enough players to make the trip down to The Mote. As with many Veterans games against sides with youngsters, the intelligence and commitment is there, but the legs to catch young whipper-snappers deserts us all! Another entertaining game whereby the strength of our Veteran side would have certainly had a closer if not better result against a Veteran side. There are no complaints as we thank our friends from Swanley who made the last minute venture to play and took the spoils 33 - 0.
This week our Mustangs & Veterans get a rest, but the former are looking to do some training to sharpen the tools ahead of watching the 1st XV play Gillingham. We will also be welcoming our sponsors down for a pre-match bite to eat and we hope to see you all down to cheer the 1st XV on in this difficult period.
Farewell "Uncle" Noel parker
September 5th 2022
Noel Parker was a true and unsung volunteer of Maidstone Rugby. Sadly he has left us for that great rugby club in the sky last month.
Noel spent several seasons at the Club during Trevor Marvin's tenure as House Chairman at the end of the '90's to 2004, freely giving his professional services and time decorating and repairing a creaking club house. Often referred to as Uncle Noel on Sundays, he would also be found serving behind the bar or cooking roast potatoes whilst dispensing his distinctive Irish Charm.
Our thoughts are with his family. Thank you Noel.
October 8th Roundup
October 10th 2022
With an injury and unavailability headache this week it meant two debuts were handed to Mustangs players for the rearranged trip to Canterbury. Not the most ideal situation sending a patched-up side to face the second XV of a club several leagues higher!
Our lads never gave up and kept going to the bitter end. A note also goes to Mustang Ryan Harrison who was determined to carry on, with a suspected torn rotator cuff. Jack Brown on the other wing stepped up as well but it was vice-captain Josh Hoare who won our Man of the Match award for working so diligently in attack and defence. The referee was exceptional & the host's warm and welcoming. This game would have been over 100 points to nil last year, so at least we can take some amount of pride and progress in this weekends Kobayashi Maru situation.
Back on home turf the Mustangs hosted a strong Edenbridge side that has had the better of them in recent years. With absentees pulled up to the 1st XV, it was great to see the return of skipper Matt Fairway to the forwards & Jason Smith to the backs. Fly half Archie Humphrey jinxed and jived all game and worked in tandem with Jason Smith in the centres to gain ground throughout. A team performace was put in and was indeed needed as it was by all accounts a very competitive, hard fought game in excellent spirit. Maidstone just had enough in the tank at the end to seal the victory 36 -31. Let's hope this is the start of more victories to come.
Finally, on Sunday the Evergreen Veterans side kicked off their Spitfire Gold Veterans Cup campaign. Try saying that several times quickly! Hastings the visitors, who battled gallantly but our Veterans were stronger, recording the win 27 - 7. Performances were put in all around the pitch, which was needed against such a good side.
Other scores have come in and have been listed on the competitions page here.
October 1st Roundup
October 3rd 2022
After the 1st luncheon of the season, the spectators settled in for what was sure to be some competitive rugby at The Mote. The 1st XV were in action looking for their first win of the season, whilst the Veterans were down on the bottom pitch against Canterbury Zingari's. Our new look Mustangs, were on the road to Old Gravesendians.
On the top pitch, we were treated to a blistering first fifteen minute display by the 1's. An issue in the first two games was not coming
away with points whilst dominating the opening exchanges. Like busses, two Try's came along at once which laid down the marker early on. As we headed towards the break, a third Try was scored by Full Back Josh Wilton after a sweeping backs interchange, made possible by the packs grunt work building a platform. Credit must go to Southwark Lancers who came out with a tremendous fighting spirit in the second half. Maidstone held their own, despite being breached twice. As Southwark pushed on for a third Try, Elliot Jones put his body, and namely his shoulder on the line to thwart a surefire Southwark opportunity. His dislocated shoulder the result of his determination to keep the visitors out. We wish him all the best in his recovery, as he will be missed. Eventually, Maidstone got their momentum back and struck a final blow with two minutes left to go, as Mikey Grice crossed the whitewash for his second. Josh Wilton, converted to seal a bonus point victory and his own 100% conversion statistic for the game.
It was also the first time we attempted to live stream the game and we were successful.....albeit for about 24 glitchy minutes it would seem. We'll work on those Gremlins and please accept our apologies if you were unable to watch the game. The new Mustangs side went up the hill to face Old Gravesendians, skippered this week by Pete Bulford, playing for the first time with both of his brothers, Jack and Ryan. Vice Captain for the Mustangs this season is Colt graduate Jack Brown, who equipped himself admirably switching to Centre. It was also amazing to see fellow gradutes, Archie Hedges & Harri Slaughter in the team, which included a returning Reuben Clarke, making the first of what we hope would be many appearances for the Mustangs, this time alongside his father Tom in the pack.
The relatively new side with notable absentees this week did themselves proud against a seasoned side that despite going down a converted Try early, managed to use their experience in the second half to take the spoils. It was a fantastic first step for the Mustangs, with everybody coming back to the clubhouse positive and buzzing that the talent is there and with a little time and development, the cohesion will come. Special note also goes to Seb Arnold and Harri Slaughter for their joint Man of the Match performances.
To round off the games this weekend, the Veterans welcomed a Canterbury Zingari side a couple of players light. In corinthian spirit, a couple of players were provided to ensure an even contest ensued. This is indeed what transpired with the game delicately poised at 15-19 with a couple of minutes left on the clock. As Maidstone pressed into the Canterbury 22, a head injury to full back Simon Seal meant a stoppage in play. In the spirit of the game, and keeping
with how Maidstone had been throughout, Canterbury suggested that they take a man off as well to even the numbers. Naturally Maidstone agreed to this, which turned out to be a little bit of subterfuge and a trojan horse. Maidstone lost a Full Back, so Canterbury took off a prop and went uncontested against a dominate Maidstone scrum. They then proceeded to kick the ball into the empty space now vacant by an absent Full Back and send their young centres in pursuit. Canterbury then pulled away utilizing the opportunity that they had created. A great game, but a masterstroke if you are Canterbury, but a dissapointing underhanded one if you're a Maidstone Veteran.
Onwards and upwards then for this week. A great result for the 1sts, a promising and valiant effort by the Mustangs and a game of moral victory for the Veteran XV who have their Pool C opener of the Spitfire Golden Oldies this coming Sunday.
6Nations Ticket Ballot Update
October 5th 2023
The ballot for the 2023 6Nations closes on Friday 7th October 2022, with the draw scheduled to be held and winners notified.
As a reminder, England's senior men's fixtures at Twickenham Stadium are as follows:
Saturday 4 February 2023: England v Scotland – KO 16:45
Tickets priced at £80 / £106 / £122 / £137 & £153 with juniors fixed at £33
Sunday 12 February 2023: England v Italy – KO 15:00
Tickets priced at £67 / £87 / £98 / £108 & £119 with juniors fixed at £30
Saturday 11 March 2023: England v France – KO 16:45
Tickets priced at £80 / £106 / £122 / £137 & £153 with juniors fixed at £33
All orders as always incur a £10 admin fee (not per ticket). If you want to be added to the draw, please email email@example.com before noon on Friday.
The away fixtures will have their ballots drawn, this week.
Good luck in the ballot.