08:00AM, Friday 29 April 2022
Maidenhead have finished their London & South East Premier Division season in a creditable eighth position, having been as low as 13th – second bottom – at one stage of the campaign.
However, Myke Parrott doesn’t believe you can measure the success of a club based solely on the results or league position of the first team when there's so much to be encouraged by across all levels of the club.
It’s been a challenging season for most community clubs coming off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many have struggled for player availability – or even to field a side – in matches.
In Maidenhead's division, CS Stags were threatened with removal from the league following their failure to fulfil fixtures – something which Parrott called for the league to show some compassion on, while closer to home Windsor have struggled to fulfil a couple of their fixtures in the South West 1 East league.
However, at Maidenhead success on the field is not just limited to the first team. Two new girls’ teams have been launched this season, they've grown their ladies’ team – the Iron Maidens – and a Maids’ fourth team has been reinvigorated, with the team set to play regular league matches from next season.
There have also been notably successes across the club's colts’ teams and the pathway into senior rugby and the first team has been demonstrated by several players who’ve grasped that opportunity this season.
“My message that I will be portraying to our members at the AGM and the awards night is that it’s very easy to look at the first XV results on paper and measure a club’s success purely on that. But I think that tells a false story.
“Firstly, even if that was your only metric, for us we've been in a much tougher league and we’ve blooded a lot of youngsters.
“But, where clubs across the land have been struggling to fulfil fixtures and are losing teams, we’ve grown our ladies’ team. we’ve launched two girls’ teams which will grow to three next year, at u13s and u15s level. We’ve reinvigorated our four team, which is kicking off with a Vets game in a few weeks on May 20. and that will be an additional side on a Saturday moving forward next season.
“You look at the success of our colts and how many of those previous years’ colts have now flourished into our first team and retained their positions.
“You look at our u23s fixture, where we’ve managed to get returning students back involved. All these key indicators show to me what an amazingly strong club we’ve got.”
Maidenhead also recently sent new rugby kit to Molo RFC based in Kenya.
The club has been supporting Molo for nearly seven years having been inspired by their love and passion for the game.
Parrott added: “Then there’s the left field stuff. We support a team in Kenya and sent a load of kit out to them. That’s our chairman Steve Bough’s idea, what an amazing thing to do as a club. There are not many clubs that do things like that.
“Yes, we'd have loved to have finished higher as a first team, but we’ve had a brilliant season all round. The youth pool is going from strength to strength and there’s so much more to our club than just the first XV. The level of coaching has gone up significant and in no small part due to David Mobbs-Smith.
“When we look around to other clubs, we’re killing it really and that’s not by accident, that’s very deliberate hard work by a lot of people doing a lot of ambitious things. I’m so proud and I'm passionate about this club being all encompassing. It's such a special place.”
Visitors to Burnham Park Hall on Monday May 16 can undergo a ‘living with dementia experience’ as part of National Dementia Action Week.