Maidstone Pumas
Established1997
Based inMaidstone
Home stadiumNew Line Learning Academy
Head coachVacant since 2019
LeagueBAFA National Leagues
DivisionNational Division South Central Conference
Current uniform
Home

The Maidstone Pumas was an American Football team based in Maidstone, Kent. The team were formed in 1997 as a continuation of the former youth team of the same name, and now 2020 they have turned in their colours and folded .

History

The Maidstone Pumas were first formed as a youth team that was active between 1988 and 1990, finishing as conference champions twice and losing to the Tiptree Titans in the BYAFA playoff final in 1990 the youth team continued for 7 more seasons in the youth league and entered Division Two the British Senior League the following year in 1998.[1] They struggled to adapt and finished bottom of the South East conference, losing all ten of their regular season games and failing to score in six.[2][3]

They were realigned into the Southern conference for their second season and on their third matchday they won their first senior game, a 27–0 win over the Chiltern Cheetahs. This was followed by a mixture of wins and narrow defeats, which included them completing a double over their local rivals, the Kent Exiles. They eventually finished fifth out of seven teams with a 4–5 record.[4][5]

They were realigned once again for the 2000 into the five-team Eastern conference along with the Exiles and the Southend Sabres and eventually finished fourth with a 2–6 record.[6] 2001 also saw the Pumas struggle, ending the season with a 1–7 record and only avoiding finishing bottom of their group by virtue of having conceded less points than the Kent Exiles.[7]

It was decided that a period of rebuilding was needed, and so the club took a year out from senior competition in 2002.[1] However, they continued to struggle upon their return to the BSL. In 2003, they finished bottom of the South East conference with a 1–9 record,[8] and failed to win a single match in 2004, losing nine games and drawing one.[9] The Pumas ended both the 2005 and 2006 seasons with a 2–8 record,[10][11] whilst 2007 saw them lose every one of their ten games.[12] In all, the Pumas lost 17 consecutive games, a streak which was ended on their first matchday of 2008 with a 13–12 victory over the Essex Spartans.[13]

The 2009 season was marred by the death of offensive lineman Alan 'Minty' Newcombe, who collapsed on the sideline during the home match against the East Kent Mavericks on 16 August.[14][15] His funeral was attended by hundreds of people, including his teammates who wore their team colours at the request of his family.[16]

The 2011 season was a season of rebuilding, the Pumas won one game and had another awarded when the Norwich Devils pulled out of the league. The team lacked a head coach but were guided through the tough season by positional coaches, and the experienced players.

The 2012 season was a difficult one with the team unable to win games and finding themselves in the unfortunate position of having to forfeit the final 2 games of the season.

For 2013 the team have unveiled a new kit and a new Coach, Olly Dracup at the helm as they now find themselves in the National League South Central Conference.

The Pumas left the league in 2014 with a view to rebuild and develop the club.

In 2015 the Pumas played under associate status with the view of rejoining the league competing against other associate teams.

In 2016 the Pumas joined the league again under then HC Oli Dracup. The Pumas with a new squad would play the season ending with a 0–10 record. At the end of the season the clubs HC Oli Dracup would leave the club.

2017 would see the Pumas enter the league with new HC Simon Mackerill. The season would show progression under the new HC as they finished the season 2–8, winning games against the Hastings Conqourors and ending a long-term losing streak. The new-style offence saw the Pumas output improve greatly from previous years.

2018 saw the Pumas aligned to a different conference with some very strong teams and a new structure which saw the teams play in an 8-game season. The Pumas finished the season 1–7. At the end of the season. HC Simon Mackerill announced he was leaving the club.

2019 the Pumas finished the season 0–8 again but did show some development off the field recruiting several players and coaches.

In 2020 the season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senior team season records

Season Division W L T PF PA Final Position Playoff Record Notes
1998 BSL Division Two South East 0 10 0 18 367 5 / 7
1999 BSL Division Two South 4 5 0 92 96 5 / 7
2000 BSL Division Two East 2 6 0 58 193 4 / 5
2001 BSL Division Two South 1 7 0 13 135 8 / 9
2002 DID NOT COMPETE
2003 BSL Division Two South East 1 9 0 55 195 8 / 8
2004 BSL Division Two South East 0 9 1 32 289 6 / 6
2005 BAFL Division Two South East 2 8 0 46 300 5 / 5
2006 BAFL Division Two South 2 8 0 64 260 3 / 4
2007 BAFL Division Two South East 0 10 0 10 301 6 / 6
2008 BAFL Division Two South East 1 9 0 109 395 5 / 5
2009 BAFL Division Two South East 0 9 1 44 441 4 / 4
2010 BAFACL Division Two East 2 7 0 51 304 5 / 6
2011 BAFL Division Two East 2 8 0 72 476 6 / 7
2012 BAFL Division Two East 0 10 0 44 329 6 / 6
2013 BAFL Division Two East 0 7 0 6 423 6 / 6
2014 BAFL Division Two East 0 1 0 0 69 6 / 8
2014 BAFL Division Two East 0 0 0 0 0 6 / 6
2015 BAFL Division Two East 0 0 0 0 0 6 / 6
2016 BAFL Division Two East 0 0 0 0 0 6 / 6
2017 BAFL Division Two East 0 0 0 0 0 6 / 6
2018 BAFL Division Two East 0 0 0 0 0 6 / 6

Other teams and activities

Tackling practice at the 'Relay for Life' event. Taken by Mark Lawrence
Tackling practice at the 'Relay for Life' event. Taken by Mark Lawrence

Though based in Maidstone, the Pumas have forged links in the Medway Towns. T

The Pumas have engaged in many charitable activities. At the 'Relay for Life' event, organised by Cancer Research UK, they gave a demonstration of American football and entered a team in the tug of war competition. The team also marshalled at the Breast Cancer Awareness 'Race for Life'.[17]

References

  1. ^ a b "Maidstone Pumas". Britball Now. Archived from the original on 10 June 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  2. ^ "1998 Season Results" (XLS). Britball Now. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  3. ^ "1998 League Standings" (XLS). Britball Now. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  4. ^ "1999 Season Results" (XLS). Britball Now. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  5. ^ "1999 League Standings" (XLS). Britball Now. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  6. ^ "2000 League Standings" (XLS). Britball Now. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  7. ^ "2001 League Standings" (XLS). Britball Now. 20 December 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  8. ^ "2003 League Standings". Britball Now. 20 December 2005. Archived from the original (XLS) on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  9. ^ "2004 League Standings". Britball Now. 20 December 2005. Archived from the original (XLS) on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  10. ^ "2005 League Standings". Britball Now. 2 January 2006. Archived from the original (XLS) on 10 February 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  11. ^ "2006 League Standings". Britball Now. 20 December 2006. Archived from the original (XLS) on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  12. ^ "2007 League Standings". Britball Now. 17 November 2007. Archived from the original (XLS) on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  13. ^ "Pumas earn first win in two years". yourmadistone.co.uk. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  14. ^ "http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/2009/august/17/american_footballer_dies.aspx". Kentish Gazette. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2010. ((cite news)): External link in |title= (help)
  15. ^ Graham, Mary. "Family pays tribute to American footballer Alan 'Minty' Newcombe". Kent Messenger. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  16. ^ Graham, Mary (10 September 2009). "Tributes paid to American Footballer at his funeral". Kent Messenger. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  17. ^ "Maidstone Pumas AFC - Community". Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.