07 February 2020

Great Britain's Charlotte Watson reflects on international hockey debut and helping the side seal their spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Great Britain's Charlotte Watson has reflected on her international hockey debut year and the dreaded phone call she received from head coach Mark Hagar. 

Watson, 21, made her international debut for GB during the squad's tour in Japan last July. 

The youngster had only participated in several training session in the weeks leading up to the trip and felt she had only a slim chance of making the squad. 

And it was when she received a phone call from Hagar that her GB hopes came alive.

Watson said: "It was out of the blue for me. I’d been to some training sessions beforehand but it was only here and there.

"I think they’d seen me play for Scotland in the FIH World Series Finals in June and then a week or two before the Japan trip Mark phoned me. 

"I’d missed the fitness testing a couple of weeks before because I had exams so I thought he was phoning me to say I wasn’t coming back because I’d missed it. But it was actually to say I was selected for the Japan trip! So it was a proper surprise to me but definitely a good one."

She earned a total of 60 caps for Scotland before she trained with GB. 

Watson scored against India in what was her third appearance for GB in October before she helped the side book their place to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games a month later.

"This time last year I genuinely thought it would have been too late to break into the squad.

"I was thinking I could make the Olympics after in Paris. I had no clue that I still had time to break into the squad. 

"It’s been such a whirlwind since July but it’s been great," she added.

But during her time in Japan it was the first time she met the majority of her new team-mates because she wasn't on the full-time programme. 

She said: "I remember Maddie (Hinch) coming up to me in the airport and introducing herself because I hadn’t trained with her before.

"I settled in well with all the youngsters but I also made a proper effort to introduce myself to everyone because I knew that help in the hockey front if I got to know them on and off the pitch."

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox