‘I’ve really found myself in Australia!’: Ella Toone jokes she’s a ‘changed woman’ as Lionesses’ forward lifts the lid on life Down Under and her dreams of scoring at the World Cup
- Man United’s Ella Toone is described as the ‘joker’ of the the England team
- The 23-year-old forward is both intentionally and unintentionally funny
It is easy to see why Ella Toone is described as the ‘joker’ of this England team.
The Manchester United forward is both intentionally and unintentionally funny. Importantly, she is not afraid to laugh at herself.
‘I’ve been doing amazing things in Australia, I’ve really found myself here!’ Toone jokes at England’s Sunshine Coast training base.
‘I never normally wake up early, I’m a proper sleeper. But I woke up early the other day – six o’clock – I went and saw the sunrise. I absolutely love walking along the beach and the other day I went into the sea as well.
‘Luckily the girls got me some goggles as I can’t go in with my eyelashes (on). I was under the waves every single day and I thought “wow, this is me”. Going in the sea has definitely, really made me a changed woman.
‘It’s got me trying different things and I’ve actually started reading the book as well. I always say it but I’ve actually started reading so that’s nice. I’m reading Jamie Vardy’s autobiography at the minute. I don’t actually read novels, just autobiographies and they’ve got a few pictures in, so that helps!’
Manchester United forward Ella Toone is described as the ‘joker’ of this England team
Toone admits a gruelling season with United, which saw the forward play a large number of minutes, meant she needed to give herself time to recuperate before joining up with the Lionesses.
‘I want to play football every single day. I hate missing games, I hate having rests, but as I’ve grown up I’ve learned that you can’t do that, it’s not good mentally or physically.
‘We’ve had a lot more games, I’ve played a lot more games than I ever have done in a season before, so it was definitely needed.
‘As much as I hated not playing football and making myself not get up and start running or kicking a ball, it’s definitely helped and was definitely needed.
‘I find it difficult to switch off, I don’t switch off from football. As I’m growing up I’m learning to do that a lot more, trying to find different things that make me happy away from football.
‘I’m a hundred miles an hour, I want to be on my feet every day, I want to play football every single day, I moan when we have a day off in the week. So it is definitely hard, but something I’m learning to grow up with and use to my advantage.’
Toone was one of the ‘super subs’ last summer and netted important goals in the quarter-final against Spain and the first in the final at Wembley. Fran Kirby’s injury means the 23-year-old has every chance of starting the opening game against Haiti next week. Scoring at a World Cup is every players’ dream and Toone says she has allowed herself to visualise fulfilling that ambition.
‘I always dream about that. I’m quite a big manifester. I manifest a lot of things before I play games and half of them never happen but I’m having fun in my brain!
‘But I’ve dreamt about scoring a goal in the World Cup since I was a little girl… every time I do, for the celebrations I have absolutely no idea.
‘My celebrations just go everywhere and I just start running off. Hopefully I can nail down a little celebration before that happens.’
Goals, though, have been hard to come by of late for England. Friday’s 0-0 draw in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Canada meant the Lionesses have now gone three games without scoring, following a 0-0 draw with Canada and a 2-0 defeat by Australia in April.
Toone, though, says the players are not worried. ‘I don’t think it’s been spoken about as much as other people have.
‘We’ve had a lot of games under Sarina, we’ve had a lot of different goalscorers who have scored so many goals so I don’t think it’s anything that we’re worried about.
‘We’ve had time off, we’ve come back together, we’re learning how to play with each other again, we’re finding those connections on the pitch and we’re having those chances.
‘I think I’d be more worried if the chances weren’t coming but I don’t think that’s had a massive effect on us. I don’t think that we’re dwelling on that.
‘We’re very confident and we know we’ve got a lot of goalscorers in the group as well so we’re definitely creating those chances. It’s now about making sure we put them in the back of the net.’
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