When your close-season break is short, you better make the most of it! And Mason Mount did just that with the truncated time he had away from football between the end of England’s UEFA Nations League matches and his return to Chelsea pre-season training.
The Three Lions’ four matches ended on 14 June with Mount starting three of those and coming on in the other, and with the Premier League campaign having an early start due to the mid-season World Cup, the schedule at this time of year is a little compressed.
There was still time for a summer of sport for the 23-year-old however, with him spotted at several international events, as well as on live morning TV promoting his clothing range Mountchandise, with all proceeds going towards the charity Together for Short Lives. He was at a pop-up store event for it too.
There was even time for an earlier visit to Los Angeles than the current one, during which he was treated to a tour of the LA Dodgers baseball stadium, now connected to Chelsea due to the teams’ shared ownership.
Check out the first part of our tour diary
We’ve Won It All boxset – binge on trophies now!
Hudson-Odoi reveals his weird injury‘I was lucky enough to go to another F1 race,’ Mount says as he reviews the rest of the past few weeks.
‘It was my second race of the summer, at Silverstone, and I was also able to go to Wimbledon.
‘I’ve never been before so to go and see Djokovic play up close, coming back from two sets down and looking like he could lose to then win three in a row, it was amazing to see that live.
‘I’ve been to the O2 Arena to watch tennis before but when you’re at Wimbledon, it’s totally different, the feeling of it, and what a professional Djokovic is, and he has obviously gone on to win it.’
Mount is talking just a few hours after the Wimbledon final was screened around breakfast time in California.
‘The tennis and F1 are obviously two different sports, but you can learn and you can take things from them so it’s brilliant to see them. I’ve been with Red Bull the last few times I went to a race so I’ve been supporting them and they’ve been doing very well recently, so hopefully that continues.’
In the short gap between the end of Chelsea’s season and the England matches in June, Mount was able to squeeze in a visit to the Monaco Grand Prix where his chequered-flag based attire certainly grabbed some attention.
‘I try my best!’ he smiles. ‘That one’s a select outfit. I can’t wear that every day.’
Now the play has finished and the work has begun, it is hard to believe that with such a short holiday this year, his fitness needs a great deal of improving.
‘It’s only been three weeks off so you don’t lose too much,’ he agrees, ‘and I always like to keep ticking over a little bit by doing training. In Portugal, with Chelsea Under-23s when they were there, I joined in a little shooting drill with them.
‘When you keep ticking over it helps when you first come back to not feel too far behind. There’s been a group that have come back before us and been training for the past week so they are in good form.
‘I was just buzzing to get back with the boys, to get back with all the staff, to really get back working hard and get the season running. We’ve got a good few games here in America, a great few weeks, so we’ll enjoy it.’
Mount has set the bar high with his Chelsea career so far, winning our Player of the Year award for the past two seasons. As he begins to look ahead to another campaign, does he set himself bigger and bigger personal target or is it more about team targets now?
‘I would never set a target of winning Player of the Year,’ he states. ‘I set targets for what I want to achieve goals-wise, assists-wise, competitive-wise as a team.
‘If I reach those targets then I know that my level is going to be high and I’m going to be performing. That’s what I look at and when I sit down before a season and try to set my targets, I want to achieve more. That’s always been my goal and my focus before a season.’
Rested and re-energised, even if only briefly, and inspired by other sports stars, who will doubt Mount can achieve more?