06 January 2020

Manchester City keeper Ellie Roebuck says Steph Houghton and Jill Scott helped her find her feet at the club

Manchester City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck has credited Steph Houghton and Jill Scott for making her welcome at the club when she joined aged just 15.

The now 20-year-old is one of the Women's Super League's star keepers and says it was 'surreal' to join a club that she had been following as a fan.

Roebuck said: “To come in and see all of the girls that I’d been watching the previous month was pretty surreal, but surreal in that they’re just normal people. I was really shy — I’m not at all now — and tried to keep myself to myself. 

"Steph, Jill, made sure I was OK, gave me confidence. I found it quite difficult at the start: ‘Wow - I think I’m a million miles away'."

Roebuck and Houghton have remained close friends throughout her time at Man City, the keeper auctioned off her boots from the club's historic match at the Etihad to raise money for Houghton's husband's foundation. The England captain is married to former Liverpool player Stephen Darby who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2018.

Roebuck saves a strike at the Etihad with friend Houghton waiting in the wings (PA Images)

Originally from Sheffield, Roebuck moved out of her family home at 15 when she moved into a host home in Manchester.

She added: “I actually found it pretty hard. It was tough because I didn’t have a car. It was pretty out in the sticks. I’d go from seeing my mates after school every day, probably being out on the street all the time, then coming over here, where you kind of have to think of other things, when you need to rest, where you need to do this. 

"That was a big change, and I’ve always been a massive, massive family person. If I didn’t have to leave home, I’d probably still be living there now. But it set me up nicely.” 

The keeper has her eyes on the 2021 Euros and the Olympics this year, where England head coach Phil Neville will be leading the team.

Roebuck said: “My aim, from being younger, was always to be Enalgnd’s No 1 and sustain that. There’s a lot of keepers within the mix. I wouldn’t necessarily say anyone’s got that spot. My goal is to try and secure that place, whether it’s now, for the Olympics - or, definitely, I want to be pushing for the Euros.”

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