We can win gold says Ipswich hockey star Harry Martin

HARRY Martin is vowing to prove age is nothing but a number at London 2012 as the Ipswich ace looks to help Great Britain’s men’s hockey team give the home fans plenty to shout about this summer.

At just 19, Martin is the youngest member of the British hockey squad but the teenager certainly isn’t lacking a wealth of international experience heading into the capital.

Despite his young age, Martin has been a part of the England set-up since making his debut aged 17, going on to establish himself at left midfield.

And Martin is no stranger to major international competitions either, a part of England’s side that finished fourth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and contributing towards Great Britain’s bronze medal at the London 2012 test event earlier this year.

All this means Martin is thinking big ahead of Great Britain’s first game against Argentina on July 30, and is certain the men’s hockey team could reach the top of the podium in London.

“I think if we fulfil our potential we can get gold,” said Martin, who will also go up against South Africa, Pakistan, Australia and Spain at the Riverbank Arena.

“That’s obviously what we’re aiming for, but a medal is a definite aim. Preparations have been great. I think we’re peaking at the right time.

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“It’s important we perform well. We won’t be concerning ourselves too well with the results and we won’t be giving too much away but we’ll be looking to continue improving ahead of the big one.”

Martin has had an award-winning start to his international career, winning the England Hockey’s Men’s Young Performance Player of the Season in 2011 and has been fundamental to the team’s current best-ever ranking of fourth.

But the midfielder, who will move from Old Loughtonians to Beeston after the Games, admits nothing will match making his Games bow.

“It’s very exciting, it hasn’t completely sunk in yet and it probably won’t do until we get on the pitch for the first game,” he added

“I’ve been incredibly lucky to have my first Games in London. I’m just 19, so hopefully I’ll have a few more as well, but I’m really excited. I came in about two years ago when I was 17, and they made me feel welcome immediately. It’s a great set-up.

“It’s a huge inspiration playing in front of a home crowd. It gives us that little extra boost to get gold.”

* Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012

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