Fareham target indoor National League

James Seager. Picture: Mick Young
James Seager. Picture: Mick Young
Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

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Fareham coach Ben Barnes believes the indoor season is crucial for maintaining momentum from the outdoor campaign.

Fareham play in the South Regional Indoor qualifiers at Fleming Park, Eastleigh tomorrow and go into it after winning the Hampshire qualifiers earlier this month.

Barnes, who has four indoor runners-up medals from his time with East Grinstead, believes Fareham should be playing in the top tier of indoor hockey.

He said: ‘This competition is important for us because we want to get into the National League and make sure we’re playing at the same level as outdoors.

‘It’s very good for individual development.

‘It’s very easy to drop away with your fitness and sharpness over the winter break.

‘The indoor keeps people ticking over. We don’t have any hockey for two months and you go off the boil.

‘We’ve had three indoor sessions as well as the Hampshire qualifiers, so they’ve had a bit of time to get used to the indoor game.’

Fareham will play three 20-minute matches against Croydon-based Trinity, Brighton and Milton Keynes.

Trojans, who Fareham beat in the Hampshire qualifiers, are in the second group alongside Eastbourne, Woking and Tulse Hill.

The top two from each group make the semi-finals with the finalists both going through to the next round in January.

Fareham will make several changes from the squad who won the Hampshire qualifiers.

Barnes added: ‘Jamie and Danny Rawlings are away with the Welsh indoor under-21 squad, Luke Cornish is on an England training camp and Jonathan Potts and Josh Godfrey are both unavailable.’

George Harris, who has indoor experience with East Grinstead, will play in goal, while Rob Wilson, James Seager and John Price all make a return.

Barnes will also be playing, to add his considerable expertise and experience.