My journey: Emily Ramsey's rise from grassroots football to England international
Everton and England goalkeeper Emily Ramsey discusses how she went from Deans Youth and Ladies in Salford to representing her country
I played football from a really young age with my brother and my dad, just kicking about with them.
I then joined a boys’ team locally in Salford where I am from, called Deans Youth and Ladies, when I was six. My brother played for a team in the older age groups so I joined the boys’ team which was a year above me.
I didn’t have a position or know what I wanted at that stage, I just knew I wanted to play football.
They wouldn’t actually let me sign on and play unless I went in goal because they didn’t have a goalkeeper, so I ended up going in goal and at the end of that season, I went to open trials with Manchester United’s Centre of Excellence and was offered a place.
I may have ended up being a goalkeeper partly by force but I would always go in goal when kicking around with my brother and I loved it then so I think I would always have ended up in goal anyway.
I didn’t actually want to go to Manchester United the first time they asked me because I felt too nervous and didn’t feel ready so I played another year with the boys playing as a goalkeeper and then after that got offered a place again by Manchester United.
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I would have been eight, turning nine, at the time I entered the academy set-up. Tooney was there, as were a lot of girls who have gone on to play in the WSL, and I ended up staying at United until I was 16, when I joined Liverpool because United didn’t have a team at the time.
I played for Liverpool’s development team and had some exposure to the first team under Siobhan Chamberlain and made an appearance for the first team.
I met Casey Stoney there as she was in her last year before retiring. Because she was doing her coaching badges, she would come down to the Liverpool development side to coach and then she took me back to United when they launched their women’s team a year after.
I was also coached by former England goalkeeper Leanne Hall growing up. I was involved with the EPCs when I was at United and Leanne Hall would pick the four best goalkeepers at that age to go to the Midlands one, so I would do that rather than go to the northern one. So I would be training alongside Hannah Hampton.
From there, I got picked by England when I was 15. I turned 16 during the camp and made my debut at St. George’s Park against Germany and worked my way up the age groups.
I was lucky enough to go to the U20 World Cup in France when I was 17 and we won bronze. That age group included Lauren Hemp and Esme Morgan from my age group and then the likes of Georgia Stanway, Alessia Russo, Niamh Charles and Chloe Kelly. I didn’t play any minutes but it was a great experience to go to a major tournament under Mo Marley.
Then when the Under-23s were set-up, I was brought back into the set-up for that. So I have played with a few of the players in the England set-up.
Tooney was the year above me at Manchester United so I would play with her in alternate years, where she would step up a year and then a year later I would join her. A couple of years above we had players like Katie Zelem, Gabby George, Millie Turner and loads of other players in the age groups above who you looked up to and wanted to be like.
Then for England, in my age group you had Lauren Hemp, Esme Morgan, Hannah Hampton and we had a successful age group. Then in tournaments you would have some of the younger ones like Jess Park, Lauren James and Ebony Salmon on camp.
It is really good to see that while at those U17 and U19 EUROs we didn’t have success there, lots of the players are getting into the senior squads or being successful in the WSL.
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