Trevor Carson believes training with top-quality players while away on international duty can only help him and Hartlepool United develop.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper became Ronnie Moore’s sixth summer signing after the League Two side agreed a deal with his former club Cheltenham Town.
Securing Carson’s signature was quite a coup for Moore, with the 6ft stopper having spent the past few weeks on international duty with Northern Ireland.
Carson believes his time training with players from Premier League sides – including Manchester United defender Jonny Evans – have helped him improve, and in turn will help Pools too.
Carson told SportMail: “Being around top players who play in the Premier League week-in, week-out, like Jonny Evans, has been great and you can only pick up good habits.
“It took me at least two or three days to pick up the pace in training.
Being around top players who play in the Premier League week-in, week-out, like Jonny Evans, has been great and you can only pick up good habitsTrevor Carson
“No disrespect to where I was training before (at League Two level) but there is a big difference when you train and play with Premier League players.
“But by the end of it I didn’t want to come away from it – I was flying.
“That can only bode well for me but also Hartlepool United.
“Obviously it will help me playing with international players and I can bring my experiences back here.
“Playing with top players has given me a taste for it and I come to Pools with a lot of confidence.
“I am ready to kick on and I am excited about the challenge ahead.”
Injuries and illness to Roy Carroll and Alan Mannus saw the Downpatrick-born goalkeeper earn a place on the Northern Ireland bench.
Carson added: “That was a massive thing for me. I got to play for 30 minutes in a behind closed doors friendly against the Republic at the Aviva Stadium.
“Then I was on the bench against Romania in a Euro qualifier It’s given me a taste of what it is like to play at a higher standard.
“Hopefully now that I am settled at club level, I will be able to up my game, progress and be involved more at international level.
“I don’t think I would have been able to progress to that level at Cheltenham because of the issues with travelling.”
The former Sunderland keeper, who spent seven years at the Stadium of Light, has been away for the past three weeks and he is now looking forward to a short break before an intensive pre-season with Pools.
Moore has lined up nine pre-season friendlies and a week of training with the Army at Catterick Garrison.
He added: “I haven’t had much of a break with being away on international duty.
“I am away back to Belfast for a week now with my daughter and then back to the North East to move stuff and get sorted.
“I am looking forward to a little break and spending time with my family but I will be raring to go when we return.”