England Women's 'keeper Ellie Roebuck reveals all about the squad's current GK Union

Lionesses and Manchester City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, fresh from learning she's been nominated as a contender for best goalkeeper in FIFA's The Best awards, speaks about the current crop of English keepers...

Tuesday 01 Dec 2020
England goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck in action during an inter-squad match last week

We have a glut or talented English goalkeepers at the moment - what would you put that down to?

At the minute, there's a lot of us challenging to be in camp and not all of us can be in the squad at the same time. There's a lot of talented goalkeepers specifically and I think from a personal perspective, coming up through the age groups has really helped me. We’ve had designated goalkeeper coaches at each age group and at club level we're much stronger now and working with full-time coaches on a daily basis.

How much have you learned from the likes of Carly Telford and Karen Bardsley over the years?

We're all very different as goalkeepers and bring different qualities, which I think is very beneficial for the squad. In the past you’d probably just have one goalkeeper who usually plays but now we all have our own strengths. Having KB and Carly on camp with us gives us a wealth of experience we can tap into and they're very supportive with our journey as well.

There was a lot of positive reaction to the performances of yourself and Sandy MacIver after this year’s Vitality Women's FA Cup Final - was that nice to see?

It’s always nice when the comments are positive but I don’t ever want to get wrapped up in a false sense of security.  There’s been times when I’ve watched league games myself and seen goalkeepers have brilliant performances but not necessarily get that acknowledgement. The truth is goalkeepers usually receive a lot of stick so it was nice that myself and Sandy got some accolades from the FA Cup Final.

Ellie training at St. George's Park under the watchful eye of Carly Telford

Is there a sense of healthy competition between yourself and Sandy?

I was the year below Sandy through the age groups so it wasn’t until we got to the U20s that we could compete directly. I hope that the competition remains throughout our careers though and we get on really well away from the pitch so I want us to keep pushing each other.

How competitive are the inter-squad games and how much do you enjoy them?

The nature of the squad we have at the minute is naturally competitive and these games are good for highlighting the aspects of our game we need to improve. These games are really good for focusing on ourselves too, because we don’t have to think about another opposition and we can trial new things. Whichever team you end up on though, you always want them to win that’s for sure. 

GK Union Q&A

Most dramatic?

KB - She’s not necessarily dramatic but she’s got a really big personality. In terms of dramatic saves though, I think Sandy was hoping the cameras were around for a few of her saves the other day.

Best penalty saver?

KB - For sure, she just always makes the goal look tiny and I wouldn’t want to take one against her.

Best penalty taker?

Me - I’m sure the others would totally disagree but I would back myself to take one.

Most competitive?

Me and Carly - We play head tennis at the beginning of every session and there is always some sort of argument but I’m a bad loser and so is Carly.

Best outfield player?

Me and Sandy - We’ve come through the generation of having to play outfield as part of our training but I think we could probably all do a job outfield. Carly has got some serious tekkers when she is pinging the ball around.


KB - We all like to get involved and we're all loud - I talk all the time but yeah KB has got a big personality.

The fastest?

None of us - I’ve no idea. We honestly haven’t raced and we barely get out of our 18 yard boxes so I wouldn’t have a clue.

Most stubborn?

Me and KB - I think me and KB could get into a good debate because we both have our opinions.

By Tom Dean