Our second club of the month is a well established organisation who have been playing in Kent for over 25 years. Always looking for more people to join the club, treasurer Martin Jefkins shares with you a little more about the Kent Exiles.
- When was your club formed, where and by who?
We started in 1990 and were formed by members of the Tonbridge Tigers (especially Graham Gosling, Alan Hands and John Garner) who had folded the previous year. We played in the 1990 and 1991 7-a-side passball league before entering BAFA properly in 1992. Back then we were based in Edenbridge.
- What teams do you currently have?
We’ve grown a lot since then! Now we have an adult team, junior team, 2 youth teams, youth flag team, cadet flag team and we’ve just formed our Women’s team! We also have a team of coaches who develop the teams, and a great team of volunteers who run everything at the club.
- Where and when do you train?
We train on Thursday evenings at Orpington Rugby Club, and Sunday mornings at our home ground, the Beaverwood Club. Our Adult team also train at Bulks Gym.
- What are your plans for the next twelve months?
Our 2 main focuses for the club are to get our Women’s team up and running, competing in the BAFA league. We also want to focus on our 2nd Youth team who will enter the BAFA league for the first time. Of course all of our teams will be focusing on winning their next game…
- Why should people get into American Football?
It’s a fantastic team sport and everyone of any shape, size and ability can contribute to the team. Plus the social side is great, who doesn’t love American Food!
- What would you consider the clubs greatest achievement?
On the pitch it would have to be our Junior team winning the National Championship last year, that was amazing! But off the pitch, it’s the fact we’ve seem consistent growth since we started back in 1990, not many teams can say they compete with 7 different teams on the pitch!
- Do you have any players and coaches of note – past or present?
Well Sky Sports presenter Neil Reynolds played for us back in the 90’s, and before you ask yes he was pretty good!
Harry Innis, the recent star of the NFL undiscovered programme and New York Giants triallist also started his career with us.
Scott Rowe is a Britball Legend, having played for the Olympians and GB through the glory years. He’s now our Director of Coaching
Clive Palumbo is a bit of a Britball Legend too, but look out for the Exiles coming through to become the stars of the future, especially Gabriel Quartey, James Cook, Connor Hassan, Sean Lewis and Jess Ferguson. If they all keep progressing you’ll be hearing a lot about them and a lot more players at the Exiles…
- Why should people join the Exiles?
Wow, so many reasons! Teams in all age groups, and a Women’s team. A great home ground where we regularly get crowds of 250-300 watching you play. Great coaches who will help you develop. We’re a team that are going places, and winning is becoming a habit…
But the thing all of our players say is best is It’s a club with a great culture, winning is important, but we balance it with a family feeling.
- What would be your favourite football moment ever – either domestic or international?
Easy, seeing my son Luke score a length of the pitch mazy running touchdown playing for the Exiles Flag Team. Not just because he is my son, but also because I’m so proud of the club the Exiles have become over the years, I never had the chance to play at his age, and we now help people do just that.
- Please sum up your club in 25 words or less!
Fantastic club with an amazing group of players, coaches and volunteers who make us winners on and off the pitch.
- Can you provide contact details for people wishing to join the club
Twitter – @kentexiles
Facebook – Kent Exiles
Instagram – Kent.Exiles