Women's Senior
Women's Senior

England newcomer Ebony Salmon on making the step up to Lionesses' senior squad

Thursday 18 Feb 2021
Ebony Salmon had represented England at WU17 and WU19 level before receiving her first senior call up in February 2021

Included as a late addition to Hege Risse's inaugural Lionesses squadEbony Salmon is the youngest member on camp with a ceiling as high as any. 

The Bristol City forward only turned 20 at the end of January but has been one of the Barclays FA Women's Super League's standout players for the past couple of seasons.

Salmon already has an impressive goalscoring record on the international scene too, having represented England up to WU19 level and was "buzzing" to learn that she'd been included in Riise's squad to face Northern Ireland on Tuesday 23 February

Now she is hoping to make a lasting impression on her new coach and teammates as she joins the 21-player camp at St. George's Park.

How did you find out that you’d received a call-up to the squad?

So I’d just finished training and Matt Beard called me over - he was on the phone to Hege Riise and passed me over.

She told me that she wants to bring me into the camp and that she thinks I’m ready. She said she had been watching me closely and wants to give me the opportunity in the seniors for this camp.

When you come through the youth age groups it's obviously something you think about but it’s never something you expect.

Especially as the squad had already gone out and I wasn’t on standby or anything, it came as a massive shock but I am buzzing with the call up!

Salmon challenges for the ball against USA during the Nordic Tournament in 2019

Hege mentioned your speed as one of the reasons she selected you for the squad - do you consider yourself to be a fast player and what have you been working on improving this season?

I think my speed really helps contribute to the way Bristol play and we class ourselves as a counter-attacking team. But the main thing I’ve been focusing on improving this season is my finishing and my consistency as well.

Last season, I was going two or three weeks without a goal and this season the main thing for me has just been to be scoring more often.

Is there anyone that you're really looking forward to sharing a training pitch with and which players do you look up to the most?

I’ve played with a few of the girls at Manchester United like Alex Greenwood and Ella Toone and then Hannah Hampton and Lauren Hemp at youth level too so it will be great to play with them again.

But I'm really just looking forward to playing with everyone to be honest - these are the best players in the country so it’s massive for me to be in the squad with them.

There’s nobody specifically that ever I’ve tried to model my game on really but it's always interesting to look at players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to see how good somebody can become.

Hege is somebody with lots of experience in the game and trophies in the cabinet - how much are you looking forward to working with her?

This is a massive opportunity for me to see where I am at right now and also where I need to get to. Going into the camp, Hege is going to be new for everyone, not just me, so I think we will all be getting to know her in some way.

She’s a coach with incredible experience and I think it's going be really exciting to work with her and learn from her too.

Your journey with the seniors has only just begun but what do you think is a realistic target for this current group of England players?

We’ve got a great squad that includes what FIFA consider to be the best player in the world in Lucy Bronze. With the players that we have I think our ambition has to be to win trophies. 

By Tom Dean