Carson hoping break will bring out his best

Tom Carson in action at RHWC2014

After a tough World Cup in The Hague this summer, Tom Carson was missing from the squad who picked up a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. However, with an impressive block of training in the central programme under his belt, the Reading striker has fought his way back into the reckoning for the Champions Trophy. With international hockey becoming a year-round pursuit, the break over the summer appears to have done him good:

“Part of the problem I had was the draining effect 18 months of international hockey had on me, having previously not played at that level. I could’ve gone back onto the pitch to try and work on my game, but I spent a month doing as little hockey as I could.” he adds “I played some football and some cricket, not to a great standard, but it took my mind off hockey. I put some time into my business which had some fun and exciting things going on. The main point was to do other things so I could come back fresh and ready to work hard again.”

Carson, who will collect his 50th cap in India couldn’t have asked for a more exciting return to the international fold with the atmosphere in India a factor he cites as something special:

“It’s exciting to play in places like India. The crowds are something else. They love hockey and make so much noise. You can try but you can’t shut them out. You always know there will be people cheering for you and against you. You have to try and get that kick and extra buzz out of it and use it to your advantage and play well.”

As well as the crowd and the atmosphere, the Champions Trophy is made up of the best teams around. The 24-year-old recognises that each team carries their own threat, but he highlights two in particular he is relishing coming up against:

“You always look forward to Australia. You know it’ll be a really hard, physical game. Likewise the Belgians. We’ve had some really tough duels with them over the past few years. They always think they’re better than us and we think we’re better than them. We seem to keep coming up against each other and having those rematches so I’m sure this one will be as competitive as ever.”

In terms of targets for both the team and him personally, Carson is philosophical:

“I’m due to get my 50th cap which I’m very proud about and I’d like to score some goals, obviously but the team goal is more important. The teams are all tough in this competition but we want to win every tournament we play in. As long as we compete and hopefully win a medal I think we’ll be happy.”

England kick off with an Ashes clash against Australia on December 6. They then go toe to toe with Pakistan and European rivals Belgium on December 7 and 9, respectively.

You can watch all the drama unfold by tuning in to Sky Sports.

Click here for the full schedule or visit the Sky Sports website to get the full TV listings for the Champions Trophy.

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