After a thrilling triumph over Spain on Wednesday night, England’s Lionesses have booked their place in next Tuesday’s UEFA Women’s EURO semi-final at Bramall Lane. And for three of the squad, the trip to Sheffield will feel like going home back to where their careers began.
Millie Bright, Bethany England and Ellie Roebuck were all scouted by Sheffield United’s Girls’ Centre of Excellence as juniors, playing for the Blades before going on to excel in the Women’s Super League.
Taking the Women’s EURO by storm and putting women’s football on the map, all three will be looking to impress on home turf to make it through to the final. Ahead of the game, we take a look at how they went from playing in the Sheffield and Hallamshire region to be part of the record-breaking Lionesses.
Lionesses’ vice-captain and Chelsea defender Millie, 28, was just nine when she started playing football for Rother Valley based Killamarsh Dynamos. From there, she was spotted by Sheffield United where she stayed until she was 16 before signing for Doncaster Belles where she made 32 appearances between 2009-2014.
At 22, Millie signed for Chelsea ahead of the 2015/16 season. With The Blues she’s won the WSL four times, the Women’s FA Cup three times, and got to the final of last year’s Champions League.
Millie made her international debut in 2016 and has consistently been part of England’s starting XI at the 2017 EUROs, the 2019 World Cup, and of course this year’s EUROs. This season, she was awarded the Golden Boot for most goals scored at the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup.
Fellow Chelsea player Bethany, 28, followed a similar path to Millie. Born in Barnsley, her first taste of club football was with boys’ team Junior Tykes, before being scouted by The Blades playing alongside her twin sister.
At 16, she moved to Doncaster Belles, slotting straight in to the first team who were then playing in the very first season of the WSL. Beth stayed with the Belles for four years, including a season on loan to Sheffield Wednesday, where she racked up 28 goals in 79 appearances.
The striker transferred to Chelsea in 2016, before going on loan to Liverpool the following season where she was ranked the third highest goal scorer.
Back at Chelsea, Beth solidified her place as the team’s top goal scorer for two consecutive seasons. She has won multiple honours including 2019/20’s Player of the Year in the same season as the club won the League Cup and were champions of the WSL. Beth has three WSL titles to her name with Chelsea, as well as an FA Cup and Women’s FA Community Shield.
Beth made her senior England debut in 2019, playing in friendlies and the 2020 SheBelieves Cup before being selected for this year’s WEURO squad.
Sheffield-born Ellie Roebuck, 22, is one of the country’s most exciting young shot stoppers and one of the Lionesses’ three goal keepers at the WEUROs. Ellie currently plays for Manchester City but initially began playing competitively with Beighton Magpies after her dad introduced her to football. She had a spell at her beloved Sheffield United before moving to Manchester at 15. She signed professionally in 2018 and has been part of the City squad that won the FA Cup and League Cup. She was also the winner of the first Barclay’s FA WSL Golden Glove for keeping ten clean sheets.
Ellie had her first senior England call up in 2018 and was subsequently selected as part of Team GB at the 2020 Olympics.
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Good luck to Millie, Bethany, Ellie and the rest of the Lionesses on Tuesday!