Manchester City women’s goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck has detailed how a culture of togetherness at Manchester City has allowed for a confluence of expertise between herself, men’s goalkeeper Ederson, and the coaching staff that has helped her quest to earn the starting role for her country.
The 19-year-old England international says she feels a connection to her Brazilian counterpart due to their similar upbringing as outfield players transitioning to goalkeepers, allowing them to share similarities on how to play with the ball at their feet. Ederson has thrived under Pep Guardiola at Man City in a critical role helping build attacks from the back, and Roebuck is happy to have someone to bounce ideas off and learn from.
“I’ve grown up playing outfield and it comes a bit more naturally to me to play with my feet,” Roebuck said in the aftermath of a 1-0 derby win over Manchester United. “I think it’s the philosophy throughout the club and I’ve been here since I was 15 so for the past four years, it’s really been embedded in me so it obviously helps and I’ve got great players around me to help that.”
Roebuck added that while her and Ederson don’t exactly meet to discuss game tactics and skills, they do have contact throughout the day, and that his occasional advice for the teen comes “in passing,” a pun which she insists was not intended.
“We train outside in the same area. Their goalkeeper coach Xabi [Mancisidor] is always coming across and contributing, giving us ideas. So it’s a really good working relationship and that reflects well on the club in general.”
Roebuck earned the Manchester derby start with teammate Karen Bardsley injured, and made a critical save on United forward Jane Ross with the game still scoreless. Ross was free on goal from point-blank range, and with Roebuck moving to her left to get in position, she somehow threw herself against the grain up and to her right to keep Ross’s poke out.
She says she’s gunning for the top job with her national team, one that is highly coveted. “Obviously the aim for me is to be England’s No 1,” Roebuck said. “That’s obviously a really difficult task because there’s other top-quality goalkeepers in England.”
Roebuck was left off the England World Cup squad this past summer in favor of current starter Bardsley and backup Carly Telford, but was one of four goalkeepers called into the most recent squad by Phil Neville for a friendly against Norway last week, along with Telford, Manchester United’s Mary Earps, and Clemson senior Sandy MacIver.