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Sittingbourne Hockey Clubs Men's 1st XI goal keeper Darren Marchant, heads to Nottingham this week to take part in the Over 35s European Masters Tournament.

Darren and Wales will face up agains five other nations. England, France, Germany, Scotland and Spain. They will play each other once and the top four will make the semi finals.

Wales fixtures are below

Sat 1200 ENG v WAL

Mon 1400 ESP v WAL

Tue 1400 WAL v SCO

Sat 1000 SF1 1st v 4th

Sat 1200 SF2 2nd v 3rd

We caught up with Darren to find our more about his hockey and the euros.

Q. Most of us will not get the opportunity to represent our country. What is the feeling you get every time you pull on that Welsh jersey?

A. I always approach every game with the utmost feeling of pride and responsibility. We are trusted with the honour of representing our nation and we have to give our all at every moment to ensure that we take that responsibility seriously and aquit ourselves.

Q. As the Club GK coach. How does an international tournament like the Euro Master, allow you to continue to drive the clubs gK development?

A. As the club GK coach, there is a huge responsibility to drive forward the next generation of players. Playing against talented players from across Europe allows me to learn from their techniques and actions in key situations and pass on that learning to the goalkeepers at the club. Every goalkeeper plays differently and has different strengths, my aim is to not be overly prescriptive about style and to adapt what I am coaching to that individual to build upon the aspects of their game that will make them even better than they are.

Q. What are you most excited about at the Euro Masters?

A. The Europeans is a great opportunity to build upon the great work the team has put in leading up to the tournament and gives us a platform to put into practise the things that we have worked hard on. I'm personally very excited by this group of players and really feel that we can compete against every team, it will be exciting to step out against France on Friday and set the tone for the rest of the week.

Q. How has your preparation been leading up to next week?

A. As a team we have been preparing really well with some strong performances in both warm up games and the recent home nations. I have been putting a lot of work in recent months into the fitness aspect of my game which will be really important across 6 or 7 games that we will have to play in ensuring I can finish the tournament as strongly as I start it.

Q. For anyone dreaming of playing for their country what advice would you give them?

A. Never give up. It's important to remember that there will always be players striving to be in the position you are also working towards. If you keep working, concentrate on the basics and stick to your style of play, you can be successful. Always work hard and remember why you are doing it!

SHC wishes Darren the best of luck this week and we hope that he and his team have a successful tournament.

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