Every month we catch up with some of our international players who represent Wales on the big stage. In this, the second part of the series, we fire off some questions to new international Gareth Clarke as well as international resident Bethan Phillips and esteemed veteran, as well as assistant coach, John Williams.

Gareth Clarke

Gareth Clarke

Oxford City KC

Age: 32

How long have you played korfball for?

7 years

 

Is this the first time you’ve been selected to play for Wales?

Yes

Is there anyone on the squad you are particularly looking forward to playing with?

Everyone! In particular my recent club mate Nick Wilkins who encouraged me to trial but I could honestly name everyone.

How do you think playing for Wales will benefit the way that you play with your current club?

I intend to push myself as far as possible with Tom, Jess and John’s coaching and I’ll certainly be looking to bring that knowledge and insight back to my club. Oxford City are constantly evolving and pushing themselves and I’ll be looking to myself, Nick, and our recently selected Ireland players to share these experiences with the rest of the club.

What’s been the highlight of your korf career to date?

Being selected to play for my Country, without a doubt. I’m very excited about the opportunity I’ve been given.

What do you do to unwind after a match?

You can’t beat a refreshing beverage with team mates after a hard fought game!

Do you have any pre-match routines or lucky charms?

I don’t have any particular rituals but I do like a bit of quiet time to focus my mind before a match.

What are you most looking forward to about representing your country/this coming season?

Wearing The Top in my first match for sure. Apart from that, learning as much as possible from the great coaching team and players around me


John Williams

John Williams

Nomads KC

Age: 40

How long have you played korfball for?

21 years

 

Is this the first time you’ve been selected to play for Wales?

No I’m currently on 54 caps

Is there anyone on the squad you are particularly looking forward to playing with?

Zoe – great to have her back in the squad.

How do you think playing for Wales will benefit the way that you play with your current club?

Playing in high pressured international matches gives you invaluable experience when you are faced with a pressured situation in a club match.

What’s been the highlight of your korf career to date?

Captaining Wales at the European championships

What do you do to unwind after a match?

I don’t – I’m wound up for at least 24 hrs replaying every moment back in my head analysing what I would have done differently.

Do you have any pre-match routines or lucky charms?

I’m way too busy strapping myself up for any of that.

What are you most looking forward to about representing your country/this coming season?

Playing with a new group of players and being challenged by a new and exciting coaching team.


Bethan Tabiner Phillips

Bethan Tabiner Phillips

Birmingham City KC

Age: 26

How long have you played korfball for?

2015/16 will be my 6th season playing korfball.

 

Is this the first time you’ve been selected to play for Wales?

No, I have trained and played with the squad under Leon Simons during the Eurobowl in Papendrecht and with Graham Box for the Europeans in Portugal last year.

Is there anyone on the squad you are particularly looking forward to playing with?

I’m excited to experience playing with all the old and new members of the squad.

How do you think playing for Wales will benefit the way that you play with your current club?

Hopefully it will improve my experience of the game so I may help other developing players with their performances on the court.

What’s been the highlight of your korf career to date?

The first time I stood in the centre of the court with the other starting 7 players to sing the national anthem. I felt extremely privileged to be there.

What do you do to unwind after a match?

I have a long hot bath and probably end up sewing something.

Do you have any pre-match routines or lucky charms?

I have a korf play list which I usually listen to on my way to a match. But I also spend a while imagining myself taking different shots (and scoring every one of course). A ritual more than a lucky charm – the correct combination and wearing of short and long socks (you can spend a good 5 mins getting this right)

What are you most looking forward to about representing your country/this coming season?

I really enjoy the tournaments, not just playing but the routines, preparation, the suspense on the sidelines. The Welsh squad is made up of a great group of people and we socialise a lot off court, usually playing card games / or mafia.