Ella Toone looks back on her first camp with the Lionesses as she rejoins the squad

Manchester United forward Ella Toone is back at St. George's Park for a second time with the England Women's senior squad ahead of their game with Germany next week. We caught up with the 21 year old to look back on last month's training camp and her first impression of life with the Lionesses...

Monday 19 Oct 2020
Ella Toone was called into the England Women's senior squad for the first time for September's training camp

Hi Ella, so looking back to last month, how did you first find out about the call up?

I was just walking the dog and when Phil rang me. I didn’t really expect him to say what he said so I was a bit lost for words. I think all I said was ‘thank you very much’ because you don’t know what to say at that moment but obviously I was chuffed.

I definitely didn’t expect the call, but I’ve spoken to Phil before and he told me he wanted me at a camp - I just didn’t expect it to be so soon.

What were your first impressions of the senior squad?

It’s a dream come true - when you’re younger you dream about playing for England so I was a bit overwhelmed. But I knew a few of the girls already and everyone made me feel very comfortable straight away so it was really good.

You’ve played for our development teams previously, but what’s the main difference between the youth set up and seniors?

I think the intensity of the training is much higher because you’re training with the best in the country. When you’re on the pitch, you have to know your next pass before you receive the ball because it moves so fast. That was one aspect that I looked to take away with me back to my club.

How was the first inter-squad training game you were involved in?

There were a lot of positive vibes in the home team and we didn’t really speak to the red team for a while, but that’s just the way it is when you’re opponents. It was a great game though and we got the win and obviously I scored, so that was a bonus too. I don’t think I’ve ever scored a header in my life and it was a bit of a bullet but there we go. I was just happy to get on and show why I’ve been selected but to top it off with a goal as well was so amazing.

Ella was on the scoresheet in September's inter-squad game

Which players did you form a bond with during camp?

They’re all really nice girls, but I’ve really enjoyed the chance to speak to the likes of Fran Kirby, Jordan Nobbs and also Ellen White because they’ve all had such great experiences. I’ve never had the chance to speak to them before but they’ve been really nice considering they’re the ones I’m fighting against for a place. When you’re young you just want to soak up as much as possible and I really feel as though I’ve learned a lot over the last few days just from being around them.

How good is it to have Fran Kirby back playing for England?

I was watching her the other night and it’s the pockets she receives the ball in and the bravery she has on the ball that is amazing. She always wants to create and drives with the ball and that is what I need to incorporate into my game now if I want to become a player like her.

She moved up the leagues like I did and she’s a great role model for younger players - I look up to her and it’s been amazing to be around her.


By Tom Dean