Tom Carson competed for the University of Exeter Men's Hockey first team and now plays for the senior England Men's squad.

Carson strikes for England

University of Exeter Alumnus and England Hockey dynamo, Tom Carson has returned from the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships.

Despite only receiving his first call up in June, the Management and Marketing graduate (2012) put in a superb performance for the squad scoring two vital goals against Ireland to see the side through to the semi-finals.

Carson, who formed part of the University of Exeter British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) National Championship winning squad in 2010 and 2012, put the England side two goals ahead of Ireland in the first half, deflecting a wayward shot by David Condon, before powering home a pin-pointed cross at close range. A closely fought second half saw Ireland draw level following two penalties, the 2:2 draw enough to see England through to the semi-finals.

Hosted in Antwerp, Belgium, the TriFinance European Championship was contested between eight of the best hockey nations in Europe. Overall England finished fourth in the tournament which was won by Olympic Champions Germany. Tom reported: “Being selected to represent England was a huge honour and something that I was extremely excited about. The tournament started well with a win against Poland followed by a narrow 2-1 loss against the Netherlands which meant we had a winner takes all match against Ireland to reach the semi finals. This game was always going to be a close and feisty encounter which we came through to draw 2-2 and ensure our passage to the semi finals.

"During the game, we started well and I was fortunate enough to find myself on the end of two crosses to make it 2-0 at half time, the second of which being a tough volley at the back post. As Ireland stepped up the pressure in the second half and scored two, we needed to dig in and with some great goalkeeping, we did enough.

"The semi final is a match that I will never forget, playing against Belgium in front of 7000 loud Belgians on a Friday night was a brilliant experience but also left us all feeling dejected after a 3-0 loss. This result, followed by a 3-2 loss in the Bronze medal match against Holland meant the trip ended on a disappointing note but does prove that we are not far from the top of the world rankings."

The University of Exeter is currently ranked number 1 in the UK for hockey, and whilst at University, Carson, formed part of the Sports Scholarship scheme designed to help talented athletes compete at the highest level. Since graduating he has enjoyed a number of notable successes on the national and international hockey stage with his club Reading HC.

Assistant Director of Sport Nick Beasant oversees the development of the University’s Sports Scholarship programme and expressed his pleasure at seeing Tom play internationally. He said: “As a key 1st team member for the University of Exeter's Men's Hockey Club Tom repeatedly proved himself to be an exemplary team mate and exceptional player. The University of Exeter has developed a strong reputation for hockey and has established itself as one of the best Universities in the United Kingdom for those who want to take their hockey onto the international stage. I am delighted the part Exeter has been able to play in Tom’s journey so far, and we look forward to seeing his international career develop in the future.”

The England Team now have a four month training block ahead of them, in-preparation for World League 4 starting in January.

Date: 4 September 2013

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