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Injury-ridden Ellie Roebuck wants to make up for lost time as she bids to force her way into Sarina Wiegman’s plans for UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, writes Will Jennings.
The Manchester City goalkeeper was left out of Wiegman’s squad for the current international break as a calf injury scuppered her hopes of donning the Lionesses jersey.
That thrust Manchester United ace Mary Earps into the equation and two clean sheets against Northern Ireland – 4-0 – and Latvia – a 10-0 thumping – have done her EURO 2022 selection chances no harm at all.
Roebuck is yet to get to grips with Wiegman’s idiosyncratic style but hopes getting back fit and firing can fire her towards the No.1 jersey.
The 22-year-old, speaking at the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 draw where England drew Austria, Norway and Northern Ireland in Group A, said: “It is tough to watch, I can't lie.
“It's my first injury so it's been really frustrating and something new for me to deal with.
“I felt like I was on really good form and coming off the back of the Olympics, I was ready to really kick on and looking ahead to the Euros. It's not meant to be yet but I'm working my way back.
“It's been very frustrating, time-consuming, a lot longer than I thought but I'm excited to get working with the other girls.
“I've only heard really positive things about Sarina and she seems great. I've only just met her for the first time so I can't really comment.
“I was meant to be quiet and we came in late so I sat down next to her - not a great first impression! It's good and she seems really nice so I'm excited.”
Wiegman’s Lionesses received a favourable-looking draw on Thursday as they emerged from the pot alongside two teams in their World Cup qualifying group.
England breezed past Northern Ireland 4-0 at Wembley last week and will take on Austria next month in a dress rehearsal of next summer’s EURO opener.
Old Trafford raises the curtain for the Championship as England host the Austrians on July 6.
The attendance at the Theatre of Dreams is expected to break the previous record set at the EURO 2013 final and excited Roebuck added: “They've made it a really big event and I think in general, that shows the way women's football is going.
“It's nice to be a part of something like that. It's exciting and makes it all feel real.
“Austria are coming up, and the girls have played Northern Ireland in the last camp, so it's exciting.
“Obviously Norway always seems to be a really good game so it's a really exciting group. They're all pretty exciting groups - I don't think you could get a bad group or a boring group.
“We can't get ahead of ourselves. Our soul focus at the minute will be digesting who we've got in the group and looking ahead to that.
“A EUROs in your home country - that's incredible and exciting.”
The UEFA Women’s EURO England 2022 ticket ballot application window is now open and closes 16 November. For more information and to enter the public ballot for tickets, visit www.uefa.com/womenseuro/ticketing