STRENGTH IN DEPTH

After a sharp reminder in our opening game of what is required to be competitive in National2 South there were plenty of positives to be taken from the last two matches. The derby win over Tonbridge Juddians was the tonic needed and there were further improvements in the performance at Old Redcliffians. Old Reds may not be the strongest side in the division but any away victory is important and, for the second week running, we had the added benefit of a bonus point. We also denied TJs and Redcliffians any league points of their own. There will be stiffer tests ahead but the squad has a look of greater depth this season. The wisdom of recruiting several good quality players over the summer has proved wise as injuries have already affected selection. In an unwelcome repeat of the early problems we encountered last season it is the back row that has suffered. The trio who played at Redcliffians was a completely different combination from the starting line-up of the previous week. The major casualty has been skipper Max Cantwell who sustained knee damage while openside flanker Sean Stapleton has been diagnosed with a hernia. It is a relief to learn that neither player requires surgery. Max is expected to be sidelined for around six weeks while Sean expects to be back sooner. New Number Eight Tyler Oliver was another forced out of consideration with a shoulder injury and he too is eyeing an early return. Our latest signing, Sam Goatley, made a sound debut at Old Reds and that allowed Tom Best to rest shoulder damage sustained in the Kent derby. Sam is a Gloucestershire County and former Cinderford centre or wing.

REF SAYS THANKS

It wasn’t only players who headed for the treatment room this week. Referees had their own injury problems and we have received a letter of thanks from the official in charge of he Fifth team’s game at Ashford Barbarians. Steve Kendall writes: “I would like to thank you for the assistance your first aider gave me on Saturday. After 33 minutes I was taken out by two players after a tackle injuring my knee. Your first aider treated me and gave advice. As I was unable to continue a member of Ashford Barbarians completed the game.” A pat on the back then for our own Sam Smith who underlined how important it is to have trained people available at all levels of the game. At Old Redcliffians it was Assistant Referee Andy Bickle who failed to stay the course as he pulled a calf muscle during the match. As mandated in the rules, the Old Reds Fourth Official took over and did a good job. A reminder, then, for our own ‘Fourth’ Chris Fullbrook. Always be ready to pull the boots. Do we feel a trip to the gym coming on?

ARE YOUR MONEYWISE?

The club needs a a new treasurer. Dom Graham is stepping down after eight years of excellent service because of increased business commitments. It is a volunteer role and we appreciate that that all of our community lead busy lives. However, the club both needs and relies on volunteers to help it run well and to progress. If you feel you are well suited to this role, you are urged to volunteer. It is equally a very critical role for the organisation in ensuring compliance and best practice accounting standards are met. Therefore, a reasonable background of financial experience is necessary.

To apply for this role please send an email detailing your experience and/or your CV to Alison Williams the CFRC Hon Secretary on secretary@cantrugby.co.uk

DAVID DURELL

It is with great sadness that the club has learned of the sudden death of long time member, friend and supporter David Durell.
Our thoughts are with wife Sue and children Oliver and Phillipa.

David’s contributions to the club were many. As the catering franchise holder at Boughton Golf Club he was instrumental in starting the annual club Golf Day and helped to establish the May Ball when it was held at Boughton GC for the first two years. Both events have gone on to be hugely successful. David was also proud to be an early sponsor, the first team’s shorts bearing his Premier Cru brand on the backside, to his lasting amusement. He had wide sporting interests apart form rugby, being a member of MCC, the Griffins Head Golf Club and a legendary Spoofer. After leaving Boughton Golf Club he became the freeholder and popular landlord of the Chapter Arms, at Chartham Hatch. David was at the pre-match lunch for the opening game of he season at the MTG. We are asking everyone to observe a minute’s silence before kick-off today in memory of David..The man with the big personality will be sadly missed. .

TWO WEEKS TO OKTOBERFEST

There’s a big day in prospect in a couple of weeks time when rugby, beer, food and music combine for the annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 6th. The festival starts at 12.30pm, the rugby at 3pm when we host Worthing and the fun continues until late. Save money by snapping up an advance ticket from club caterer Ted Phillips priced at £7.50 That’s a 25 per cent discount on the £10 charged on the day (season ticket holders £5). Tickets are also available from outlets in and around the city. Thye are The Local, Chartham, The Unicorn Inn, St Dunstans, The Foundry, Whitehorse Lane and Hayward Design and Print, Littlebourne. A free shuttle bus service will operate between Canterbury Bus Station and club from 112 noon. Get into the festival mood on Friday night by coming to an Evening With the Jazz Dynamos. It’s a brilliant date with great music and food. Tables of 8-10 people are available at £28.50 per head.

ANDY’S VIEW

A big welcome to Dings Crusaders. Good to see a great club make the bounce back to this level where they played for so long. The road to Bristol will be a familiar one with three clubs from the city now competing in the division. Dings derby win at Clifton (where we so rarely succeed) has shown they do not rely solely on their home form so we need to be at our best today against an in-form and confident team. The win last week at the other Bristol club, Old Redcliffians, was very pleasing. We controlled the ball very well and were patient on a pitch where space was hard to come by. There were a lot of familiar faces in the crowd who made the long trip from Kent that day – thank you for your support. Finally, I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to my friend and great supporter of the club David Durell. Like so many in our great game do, he supported me as a young player with work and a fair few post-match pints. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and closest friends. Enjoy the game DD, cheers boss.

KEITH PURBRICK

Late this week we learned of the death of another club stalwart,
Keith Purbrick. Despite his lack of muscle Keith was a highly
enthusiastic player and also helped us enormously by refereeing the
lower sides. He was a true rugby man. Both his sons, Seb and Gus,
have played for the club. Keith was a lecturer who worked in this
country and overseas and we send our deepst sympathies to all his family.