Thursday 30 November 2017

Roebuck: I play with no fear

Teenage goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck has been thrown into the deep end this season.

In the absence of injured England number one Karen Bardsley, the 18-year-old City shot-stopper has earned a promotion to the first-team, with the Blues securing a 100% record from 11 games.

Roebuck has even featured in the Champions League, as Nick Cushing’s side sailed into next year’s quarter-finals with triumphs over St Polten and LSK Kvinner.

Having also captained England’s Under-19s, the Sheffield-born ‘keeper is racking up plenty of experience – and she’s relishing the challenges.

“It’s been really good,” she told “It’s a big learning curve.

“I’ve played against some really good opponents and it’s been a great test for me.

“I feel I’ve done alright. I always look back at my clips to see what I can improve on and I always try and carry positives on.

“Playing in the Champions League in particular was a really good experience. I never expected that so soon. I really enjoyed it.”

Eager to develop and take advantage of the talent around her, Roebuck added she is thriving, playing alongside the likes of Bardsley and Ireland international Marie Hourihan.

The youngster also credited her back four for their support and manager Cushing for his guidance.

“The feedback has all been positive,” she added. “I’ve just been told to do what I can and play with no fear.

“That’s one of the main lessons I’ve taken.

“I know I’m young and I know there’s a chance I’ll make mistakes but I just have to make sure I try to limit them and then if I do make a mistake, that I learn from it.

“KB and Marie have been really supportive throughout. They play big parts in training, giving me confidence boosts and telling me to play as I have been doing in training. It’s a really big help.

“It is hard as a goalkeeper as you’re all fighting for the same position but as a unit, we’re a very close bunch. Whoever plays, we’re supportive of each other.

“All of the girls have been great. The defenders are really supportive and they make sure they communicate with me, which is really helpful, especially as we play out from the back.

“We have a really good team ethic. We all work together really well.

“The bond is really good this season, which is helping with our success.”

Asked of her favourite performance in an exceptional campaign, Roebuck highlighted her European debut and a clinical display against Bristol.

“They’ve all been pretty good!” she smiled. “The 5-0 win away in Norway was a fantastic performance.

“We were brilliant in the game against Bristol as well.

“We’ve been pretty consistent throughout. The standard has been pretty high. We have to keep building on it.

“The additions that have been brought in have helped with our playing style. We just need to keep progressing throughout the season and see how it goes.”

Having signed from hometown club Sheffield United, the Blades fan has now made 11 appearances in sky blue.

The shot-stopper is not getting carried away though and is keeping focused on her short-team goals.

“I just want to keep on learning,” she continued.

“I have a camp coming up in December with England, which I’m looking forward to. Hopefully, I can keep pushing on with them as well.

“It’s really important that we finish the year on a high.

“Every team in the league is good and they’re all competing with us. Every match is hard but hopefully, we can keep coming away with three points.”


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