Dan Barden believes he is the beneficiary of Norwich City's belief in young players, as he looks to continue his development out on loan. 

The Welsh goalkeeper joined non-league side Maidstone United on a month-long loan move earlier this month. 

Barden's move to the National League strugglers is the first time he has played senior football since taking time away from the game to battle cancer. The 21-year-old returned to action earlier this year after successful treatment. 

Norwich offered him plenty of support during his health battle - but now his focus on developing and working his way back into the Canaries' first-team squad. 

“I’ve been there four or five years now,” he said. “They’ve been a great club for me.

“On a personal note, last year they helped me when I was having problems off the pitch and stuff like that.

“They were massive for me then. It’s a great club and they’ve done well in the last few years with the promotions.

“We’ve got good enough players and we should definitely be a Premier League club for the size it is, and the fans deserve it.

“Norwich have been a club who play young players. They’ve not been afraid to do that in the last few years. I’m someone who’s benefited from that philosophy.

“They want to encourage their goalkeepers to go and play, so there’s a few young keepers there at the moment and we’re all trying to play and work our way up.”

Barden played an influential role in Norwich's last Championship campaign, deputising for Tim Krul and Michael McGovern during a hectic portion of the 2020/21 season under Daniel Farke. 

Despite the sanitised conditions owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a period that Barden enjoyed and wants to achieve again. 

“I was third-choice goalkeeper at the start of the season and with injuries to Tim Krul and Michael McGovern I ended up getting in the team,” Barden told Kent Online.

“It was a period around December, two years ago, and I ended up playing a few games.

Eastern Daily Press: Dan Barden played an important role during Norwich City's previous Championship campaign.Dan Barden played an important role during Norwich City's previous Championship campaign. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Image Limited)

“It was different with no fans there, because of Covid, but I loved it. The games went well.

“I was quite young at the time and I got chucked in and sometimes that’s the best thing for a young goalkeeper, to get chucked in and try and do the best you can in those situations.

“It was a good season, we got promoted as well. It was just a shame there were no fans there.”