|Home stadium||New Line Learning Academy|
|Head coach||Olly Dracup|
|League||BAFA National Leagues|
|Division||National Division South Central Conference|
The Maidstone Pumas are 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 currently play in National Division South Central Conference of the BAFA National Leagues (BAFANL).
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
It was decided that a period of rebuilding was needed, and so the club took a year out from senior competition in 2002. 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, and failed to win a single match in 2004, losing nine games and drawing one. The Pumas ended both the 2005 and 2006 seasons with a 2-8 record, whilst 2007 saw them lose every one of their ten games. 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.
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. His funeral was attended by hundreds of people, including his teammates who wore their team colours at the request of his family.
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.
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||—||—|
Other teams and activities
Though based in Maidstone, the Pumas have forged links in the Medway Towns. They have formed a Youth section of the club to capture some of the interest in the surrounding area. This has begun with teaching the basics of flag football to secondary school pupils with the ambition of creating an inter-school league.
The Pumas held their first youth team try outs in July 2007 at Astor of Heaver School in Maidstone. Injured Pumas safety Bjorn Haynes took charge of the practice and put the prospective players though a series of drills covering footwork, ball handling, stances and reactions. There was then a short flag scrimmage to give the boys their first taste of competition. The club has since formed a Youth team which has played a number of flag football matches against local clubs, with the aim of registering 30 players by the end of 2008 to enable them to play kitted youth football. They achieved this aim and were entered into the Southern Conference of the BAFL's youth league in 2009.
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'.
- "Maidstone Pumas". Britball Now. Archived from the original on 10 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "1998 Season Results" (XLS). Britball Now. 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "1998 League Standings" (XLS). Britball Now. 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "1999 Season Results" (XLS). Britball Now. 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "1999 League Standings" (XLS). Britball Now. 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "2000 League Standings" (XLS). Britball Now. 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "2001 League Standings" (XLS). Britball Now. 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "2003 League Standings". Britball Now. 2005-12-20. Archived from the original (XLS) on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "2004 League Standings". Britball Now. 2005-12-20. Archived from the original (XLS) on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "2005 League Standings". Britball Now. 2006-01-02. Archived from the original (XLS) on 10 February 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "2006 League Standings". Britball Now. 2006-12-20. Archived from the original (XLS) on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "2007 League Standings". Britball Now. 2007-11-17. Archived from the original (XLS) on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "Pumas earn first win in two years". yourmadistone.co.uk. 2008-05-28. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/2009/august/17/american_footballer_dies.aspx". Kentish Gazette. 17 August 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2010. External link in
- Graham, Mary. "Family pays tribute to American footballer Alan 'Minty' Newcombe". Kent Messenger. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- Graham, Mary (10 September 2009). "Tributes paid to American Footballer at his funeral". Kent Messenger. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- "Pumas Re-Launch Youth Program". Maidstone Pumas AFC. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "Pumas Youth 29 – Exiles Youth 19". Maidstone Pumas AFC. 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- "Adult & Youth Contact Alignments". British American Football League. 2009-01-19. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- "Maidstone Pumas AFC - Community". Retrieved 2008-07-02.