Tonbridge Juddians RFC

News and Events

Happy New Rugby Year

5th January 2022

First and foremost I sincerely hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and remained safe and well through the festive period. 2021 will be remembered for many things but one thing we should all be proud of is the Club making its debut at National 1.

The Club should also be immensely proud of how we navigated our way through Covid restrictions both on and off the pitch, its especially pleasing to see a busy club again over the weekends. I would personally like to thank all the players, coaching staff, the first aid helpers, physios , age group managers and all the parents for showing such vigilance through our reopening and in turn keeping Covid cases extremely low.

Around the club you will have seen the completion of the new hard standing footpath around the 1st XV pitch, offering significantly improved standing conditions for the spectators. We have yet to start the re-grading of the land behind the garage as the Council needed to apply for a special license from the Environment Agency which they are still waiting for, we hope the works will commence late January. The Management Committee has also started to explore extending the clubhouse balcony with a possibility of a roof over and potentially seating and some heaters, the cost of steel is however something of a drawback at the moment!

Our Minis had a solid start to the new season with some competitive games along with some joint training sessions with our near neighbours in West Kent. The new year couldn't be busier with 3 games for each age group lined up for January alone. We look forward to what will hopefully be an exciting second half of the season and have the kids doing what they do best – playing great rugby and having fun with their friends.

Our Junior section had a very busy fixture filled pre-Xmas with some notable wins. The New Year will see the Junior section encompass the new age group rules which come into play. The Kent Waterfall competitions start in the middle of January offering an exciting start to the New Year. The section has also seen 1st Scenic join as a new sponsor alongside Somerhill and Horsepower.

The Academy is going strong with all age groups looking forward to the start of the official Kent competitions in mid-January. Victories over Aylesford, Canterbury and Sevenoaks pre-Christmas have set us up with a mouthwatering trip to Richmond for the last 16 of the National Cup on Sunday 16th January, all support would be welcome.

Our Ladies section had a very strong end to 2021 and are currently 3rd in the league with only one loss this season and a game in hand, so lots to play for. Going into 2022 we have a game on Saturday 8th January away to Guernsey. Lots of new players have joined the Ladies this season which is fantastic to see and the spirit is strong and the enthusiasm sky-high

The TJs 3rd team had an interesting 2021, as with all of the TJs squads, the current pandemic has provided a number of challenges and some unexpected opportunities. Under the captainship of Tom Carter assisted by an experienced leadership group, the 3rd Team had a slow start with three losses from the first three games, all frustratingly close. However, once the squad had time to gel, things only got better, winning the next six and they lie 4th in Kent Rural 3. While several other local clubs are struggling for players and some having had to drop teams this year, TJs have gained several new players increasing our playing squad with a total of 47 taking the field so far this season. The second half of the season looks like it will be a blast, chasing another league title with many of the games at home, the whole squad is looking forward to some challenging competitive games and adding to a growing group of players enjoying a robust, competitive and importantly social team.

Moving to the 1st team we all knew National 1 would be tough and a significant step up, we have not been disappointed. The season started brightly with a draw and a win in the first month but since then results have not gone our way as the squad struggled to find its feet. What has become abundantly clear to us, our opposition away from home are significantly different to the sides they field at home with many clubs playing premiership loan players at home. Injuries have caused us issues especially in the back line, causing significant reshuffles every week. All of that being said the side has lost 6 games by less than a converted try!
Whilst not confirmed by the RFU our belief is 1-2 sides will be relegated this season given the reshuffle in the Championship and changes in National 1 and National 2. Thank you to all the supporters that have cheered along and look forward to seeing you all down the Club, and on the road, in 2022.

As always the Club is looking for more volunteers to help with game and pitch management on a Saturday, first aiders through the sections, physios, Commercial Development members, Treasurer help to name but a few, please do let me know if you have any interest or want more details or contact Adam Hookway.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors across the whole club. Your ongoing support allows the Club to offer rugby for all ages, gender and abilities with a pathway for all to playing at the highest level available.
Happy New Year
Darren Grasby


© TJRFC 2022
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