Barnes ready for Fareham’s derby with Chichester

Fareham are ready to face Chichester

Fareham are ready to face Chichester

Havant under-16s in the national finals (fourth place). 2017

Havant youngsters perform well at nationals

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Family pride as well as local pride will be at stake for Ben Barnes when Fareham take on Chichester Priory Park tomorrow (5.30pm).

The sides meet in a Saturday evening showdown at Henry Cort College for what should be a juicy local encounter.

My dad coaches, my mum is an umpire and my niece plays for them

Ben Barnes

But for performance director Barnes, there is much more to it than that.

The former international was born and bred in Chichester and spent much of his playing and coaching career at the club.

He said: ‘I’ve played in a Chichester shirt against Fareham on several occasions.

‘This is an important game. I’ve got personal pride and local pride at stake.

‘It takes over the importance of the Havant-Fareham derby.

‘It will be a special game and I know the guys are really up for it.’

Barnes’ Chichester connections go way back.

‘That’s where I learnt my hockey and where I first started to play,’ he said.

‘I was in the team from 14 to 18 years old and player-coach for five years.

‘My dad coaches, my mum is an umpire and my niece plays for them.

‘So I want to win the game even more but you have to put that personal ambition behind.

‘With the match being played on a Saturday at 5.30pm, we can get the whole club there.

‘We should get a good crowd and hopefully a really good spectacle.

‘Both teams like to play good attacking hockey.

‘Chichester have started well this season. They’ve got some really talented players and a very talented midfield.’

Chichester have just moved across to National League conference west but already hold some of the bragging rights after beating Fareham in the England Hockey National Cup earlier this season.

The West Sussex side beat their opponents 3-2, although it was against a much-weakened Fareham side.

The Henry Cort side go into the fixture after recording their first win of the season against the University of Birmingham last weekend, coming from two goals down to win 3-2.

Chichester are currently ninth in the league and just one point behind Fareham, so there is all to play for.

Barnes faces some tough selection issues tomorrow as both John Price and John Grice are back in contention.

Ahead of the game Fareham accepted our Crossbar Challenge. Click here to see how they got on.

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