Tom Carson has just returned from playing a field hockey season overseas. He answered the following questions on the flight home. Read to learn about his adventure, and also to learn about hockey in England and Australia.
From: Reading, England
Home Team: Reading HC, England
Where has hockey taken you?
- As a player.
“I have played hockey for GB/England for the past 3 years and it has allowed me to play in: Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, India and Malaysia.”
- As a student.
“Hockey allowed me to get into my chosen University without the exact grades required. I was just short of the requirement but they allowed me in as I would offer the Uni more than just academics. As it was, I was successful on both the hockey and academic front so they made the right decision thankfully.”
- As a business man.
“My exposure to top level hockey has helped inspire me to develop my lifestyle and hockey brands. I can see what inspires people and have used this to develop a fashion brand. A lot of our followers have been from the hockey world so we decided to launch our own range of sticks.”
Most recent overseas playing location: Perth, Australia
Host Team: University of Western Australia (UWA)
In one sentence how would you describe this journey?
“A relaxed winter of hockey without the pressures of home life.”
What were your favorite 3 things about playing in Perth?
“Relaxed lifestyle, learning a different approach to hockey, beach”
What shocked you the most about playing hockey in Perth?
“No one ever passes backwards. The mentality to go forward at all costs is so different to back home.”
Why did you decide to play abroad??
“I was told I didn’t make the Rio 2016 squad so I took the opportunity to go away and play abroad for 4/5 months. Perth looked like the best quality league to play in during the off season in England and I had a good friend who invited me out.”
What have you learned/gained playing abroad?
“Playing alongside and against the Aussie internationals in league hockey has given me a great exposure to how they like to play. The mindset of pressure on the ball and deal with it if they get through was great to have.”
Home vs. Abroad: how the style of play differs?
“You are allowed to foul/play at the ball a lot more in Australia. Because it is harder to get a card people are much stronger in their tackles as they don’t have the fear of getting it wrong. They are all very direct so you need to be incredibly strong on the ball.”
Home vs. Abroad: how the league differs?
“Everything is much more relaxed. Less warm up time and less time waiting pre game. The culture is very much about playing hard but being very social off the pitch. Apart from the finals, people tend to not big up league games as much and just play each game as it comes.”
Foreigners Fact: what’s the import experience like?
“I was one of two Englishmen in the side so we took a bit of heat from the others but nothing too bad. I quickly realized that I couldn’t stand around and expect a foul when you get chopped down so instead had to get stuck in myself. One thing I always find funny is that Aussies always say they are shooting at ‘goals’. Someone should really tell them that they can only shoot into one of them….”
What did a typical day look like for you while in Perth?
“I would wake up at 8/9 and have a leisurely breakfast before settling down to some work on the laptop. While I was there we had to redevelop our websites (www.y1Hockey.com and www.youngonesapparel.com) so I spent a lot of time organizing this. After enough work I would meet up with one of the other imports to go to the gym before doing a few hours coaching. After the coaching I might go for 9 holes of golf (depending if I have enough time to keep searching for my ball). In the evening I would have 90 minutes of training a couple of times a week.”
Young Ones web page
Fun on the links with fellow Brit import, Will Byas.
What are your top few memories from abroad?
“Because of the proximity to Asia, I was able to take a short trip to Bali and Singapore, which was amazing. The Singapore Zoo is incredible and Bali is such a nice place to relax and enjoy the sunset with guaranteed heat.”
Do you encourage others to go abroad? Why?
“Having the opportunity to see the world and have new experiences through sport is amazing. You get to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and mindset while keeping a tourist point of view.”
What are your recommendations for import players coming to Perth?
“I would get involved with as much as possible within your club. Coach a team and take all the opportunities. Perth is a lovely place (especially when it’s sunny). If you can meet other imports then you will have a great support network around you in the same boat.”
What is on the near horizon for you??
“My aim is to be part of the Tokyo Olympic side with GB (a long way to go!) I am trying to grow my fashion and clothing businesses to a world scale – small steps!”
Any other thoughts or insight you want to share?!
“Perth isn’t as hot as you might expect during the winter! When the sun is out, it’s lovely but bring a coat for the evenings.”
After Carson’s review is playing a club field hockey in Perth something that interests you? If so, sign up for free to Uru Sports today to highlight yourself globally and find great playing positions.
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Lastly, a huge thanks to Tom Carson for taking the time to talk to us about the Cal Cup. We’re extremely grateful for all the athletes and coaches like you who’ve gotten behind our mission here at Uru Sports and have shared insight on sports around the world.
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