Women's Team

Roebuck: Injury changed my perception

Ellie Roebuck did not have it easy in the 2021/22 season.

Sidelined through injury for five months of the campaign, the 22-year-old Sheffield-born goalkeeper suffered a setback and endured struggles along the way.

Not knowing how long it would take to recover, the uncertainty on how the rest of the season would pan out for her for Club and country was at the forefront of her mind

However, having made a welcome return to action in January, Roebuck can proudly say she will be one of the 23 players representing England on home soil in this summer’s Euros.

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After some incredible performances between the sticks, the shot-stopper made sure she played her part as City picked up form towards the end of the campaign and finished third in the FA Women's Super League, grabbing the final coveted spot in the Champions League for next season.

Ahead of the Lionesses' highly-anticipated home Euros, the 'keeper admits she had plenty of time to reflect, admitting she does not take her fitness for granted, having experienced that period on the sidelines.

“My perspective on the whole Euros I think is different to what it would have been if I had not been injured,” exclaimed Roebuck.

“Come January, I didn't even know if I was going to be back on the pitch this season. It felt good to be back.

“I'm not by any means where I want to be in terms of match sharpness and things like that. There's so much room for improvement and I know that anyway, so I'm up for that challenge and every day I'm pushing to be better than what I am.

“I'm sure that'll come through the tournament but it's a great place to be, a great training environment so I can carry on working on myself while hopefully, pushing the group and improving.

“For me, my whole thing around it is just so different. I'm really grateful to be here and be on the journey with the girls, regardless of what happened.

“I think my perspective has just changed and I am just really glad to be part of the group.”

With Roebuck unavailable during England coach Sarina Wiegman's first meetings with the squad, players who had been recovering from injury, such as Roebuck and teammate Chloe Kelly, had not had the same amount of contact with the new boss as others.

The 'keeper says however that it does not show at all, declaring she has been impressed by the Lionesses boss.

“She's great,” she added. “Her honesty from day one for me was really refreshing and it helped.

“Going into a tournament, if you know where you stand, it allows you to adjust and really know your place within the group. I think that's really important.

“Everyone is pushing each other so high. It makes training fun. You're going out there and regardless, you're having a good time, and you're really challenging yourself.”

Despite the constant competition of having to prove yourself on the training pitch as a footballer, Roebuck also talked about the enjoyment of being a goalkeeper and pushing the others to be the best they can.

“Obviously, our position is different to everybody else's really,” explained the 22-year-old, “but as a group, we just need to make sure we push each other on a day-to-day basis and keep the competition level high. Then whatever happens, happens.

“I think we're in a unique position where we can have fun doing that as well. We can enjoy training and for me, I'm just here every day enjoying being on the grass and being back part squad to be honest with you.

“I'm just literally having a good time and enjoying being around the group and pushing the other two as much as I can.”

Megan Garbutt is a Football Journalism student at the University of Derby who are reporting on the Women’s Euros.

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