It’s fair to say it’s been a remarkable few years for Man City rising star Ellie Roebuck.
At the tender age of just 21, she has already achieved more than most of her goalkeeping counterparts in both the men’s and women’s game despite still being in the early stages of her career.
Roebuck has established herself as Man City’s main shot stopperGetty Images
Roebuck has usurped the experienced Karen Bardsley in the last eighteen months to become City’s No.1, has an FA Cup winners medal to her name and was also awarded the WSL’s inaugural Golden Glove after keeping an impressive ten clean sheets in 16 games last season.
Many would be satisfied with that haul in the early stages of their career, but not for the ambitious Roebuck. She wants a clean sweep of winners’ medals with City this season and if that wasn’t enough, the England No.1 jersey, too.
Asked what would constitute a successful season, Roebuck exclusively told talkSPORT: “[A] Champions League medal, a League medal, a Conti Cup medal, an FA Cup medal and hopefully, an Olympic gold medal and then I’ll be quite content.
“But I’ll also be looking at the year after and wanting a Euros medal and wanting to do it all again. I’ll never be content with that, but I’m sure it would be a nice year.
“I’m quite demanding of myself but sometimes, I do sit back and think: ‘I should be proud of what I’ve achieved so far.’ I do sometimes, but I’m always striving to be better.
“I won’t really change the way I am and I’m not going to change my ways to suit whatever is needed. I’m the goalkeeper I am, so I’ll back that and back that ability and keep working hard here and hopefully, I’ll get my opportunity [with England] .
“When circumstances are right and the games can continue, [I hope] I can get my opportunity and prove why I should play. I trust in the process and trust in what Phil and the staff at England are doing and what I’m doing here, so I feel like I’m in a really good position to push on.
“Phil’s really good and I’ve really enjoyed playing under him. He took me to the World Cup for experience and that’s something I’m really grateful for and hopefully, it will put me in good stead for future tournaments now I’ve had that experience.
“I do trust him and trust his methods and trust in the process. He wants the best for the team and individuals. I just have to put my faith in him and hopefully, he’ll repay me with some game time and I can go out and showcase what I’m about.”
Roebuck has achieved bundles of success in her youthful career so farGetty Images
Roebuck is someone that has embraced all the challenges that have come her way so far and hasn’t looked back ever since being thrust into the spotlight against Chelsea in February 2018.
With then City stopper Bardsley forced off through injury, an 18-year-old Roebuck was introduced in what was a sink or swim moment.
Stepping into game of such magnitude at a moment’s notice, no-one would have blamed the young goalkeeper for any early jitters or brief moments when the nerves got the better of her.
However, typically, she showed no signs of any weakness in what was a defining moment in her career.
The England international pulled off a string of superb saves in one of the finest goalkeeping performances the WSL has witnessed in recent years to earn City a point.
Since then she has never really relinquished her position between the posts.
It’s no wonder then why Roebuck has such faith in her ability and if she can replicate the form of her idols Gianluigi Buffon and Peter Schmeichel, then England have some goalkeeper on their hands.
“Growing up, I was definitely such a big fan of men’s football,” she explains. “Buffon, at the time I was growing up, was unbelievable. He was somebody I always watched.
“Even though Peter Schmeichel was a bit before my time, looking back, I really like the way he played and the impact he had on the game. For me, they’re the two that really stand out.
Buffon is still going strong at the age of 42Getty Images
“My aim when I joined this club at fifteen was that I always wanted to be number one. Whether I expected it to come as soon, probably not, but I think once I’ve been given the opportunities, I’ve taken them and really built on it.
“I think I’m in the perfect environment to keep improving and working hard as the support we have around us is massive. I think I’m in a great place, so I’m excited what the future has to hold.”
It was no surprise, then, when Roebuck was recognised for her superb performances when she was awarded the inaugural Golden Glove last campaign.
“That was a really proud achievement for myself,” the 21-year-old added. “I think it was the first one as well that Barclays as the official sponsors have done, so to win that, for me, was a big achievement.
“I really enjoyed last year; it was the first year that I had a real consistent run of performances. It was gutting that it [last season] was cut short as I think we could have gone and challenged for the title but things happen for a reason and this year, we’ll look to bounce back and do what we can.
“It was a huge achievement and something I can aim to build on and to win it year on year is the aim. It’s a credit to my defence as well as we had a really good year, so it reflects nicely and it’s one for the trophy cabinet for sure.”
City, much like their male counterparts, have title ambitions of their own this season in the WSL, but it will, by no means, be a walk in the park.
Reigning champions Chelsea have picked up where they left off last time out, while Vivianne Miedema’s talent in front of goal will mean Arsenal will always be a force to be reckoned with.
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However, the traditional top three could be gate-crashed by Casey Stoney’s Manchester United who currently sit top of the table following an unbeaten start to the campaign, while Everton have also shown that they can go toe-to-toe with the league’s best on their day.
Roebuck, therefore, is anticipating one of the closest title challenges in years and feels the season could go right to the wire.
“We want to win everything and win everything every year. That’s the mentality of the club right from the academy through to the men’s first team,” she finishes.
“This club wants to win trophies and that’s always going to be our aim and we’ll do that game by game. We’re always really positive and confident in our ability that we can go all the way in every competition.
“The league is getting stronger and stronger every year. We’ve dropped points to the likes of Brighton and Reading and that’s not because we played badly, it’s because the league is naturally getting stronger and stronger. These teams will take points off of the so-called bigger teams.
“Anything can happen and I don’t think the league will be decided by Christmas or by April to be honest with you as I think it will go down to the wire.”
Listen to this week’s episode of Women’s Football Weekly with Faye Carruthers on talkSPORT 2 from 8pm on Monday. The show is also available as a podcast, on Spotify and Apple products…