David Mobbs-Smith believes it will be interesting to see if supporters notice a real difference between his and Russell Bolton’s style of play when the new season kicks off in September.
The new Maidenhead coach believes he and Bolton are coaches from the same mould and – although he will announce a few new signings in the coming weeks – it’s expected the team won’t be massively different from the one which pushed for the play-offs last season and finished in third.
“Russell and I have a very similar view on how the game should be played,” said Mobbs-Smith. “So it will be interesting to see if supporters can see a noticeable difference. I’d like to think I can bring a few new things to the team, but this is a successful side who’ve proved that over the past few seasons.”
Maids start their South West Premier campaign at Drybrook on Saturday, September 7, and Mobbs-Smith says how they adapt to playing on grass pitches away from home through the winter months will be key to their success.
“Playing away from home will be a challenge for us,” he said. “In September/October and March/April it won’t be so different (to the artificial surface at Braywick Park), but going away from home in January and February will be a test for us because teams will change the way they play for those matches. During that time we’ve got Brixham away, Camborne at home, Exeter University away and Ivybridge away. These are long journeys and tough matches. This is a league of one town teams. It’s very tough.
“But we’ll have a much better feel for where we are by mid-October, when we’ve played some tough home and away matches.”
Although cautious to make predictions, Mobbs-Smith is certain about one thing – coaching Maids is going to be a fun experience.
“The coaching staff, the players, the supporters, it’s one of the reasons I came to the club,” he said.
“They’ve got brilliant facilities, character and there’s a great atmosphere which you don’t always see from the outside. It’s going to be a good experience.”
Maidenhead RFC’s South West Premier Division fixtures.
Sat 07 Drybrook (A)
Sat 14 Exeter University (H)
Sat 21Exmouth (A)
Sat 28 Ivybridge (H)
Sat 05 Launceston (A)
Sat 19 Newbury Blues (H)
Sat26 Okehampton (A)
Sat 09 Weston-super-Mare (H)
Sat 16 Barnstaple (A)
Sat 23 Bracknell (H)
Sat 07 Brixham (A)
Sat 14 Camborne (H)
Sat 21 Exeter University (A)
Sat 04 Exmouth (H)
Sat 11 Ivybrige (A)
Sat 18 Launceston (H)
Sat 08 Newbury Blues (A)
Sat 15 Okehampton (H)
Sat 29 Weston-super-Mare (A)
Sat 07 Barnstaple (H)
Sat 21 Bracknell (A)
Sat 28 Brixham (H)
Sat 04 Camborne (A)
Sat 18 Drybrook (H)
With the fixture list comes plenty of travelling for Maids with the majority of away games seeing round trips of more than 200 miles.
The longest distance David Mobbs-Smith's side will have to go is a trip to Camborne - a near 540 mile round trip, while the shortest is a quick trip to local rivals Bracknell.
The season will see Maids travel roughly 3,700 miles in total in pursuit of promotion from the South West Premier Division.