Skip to main content
Published 23 February 2024 4 min read
England Women's Senior Team

Grace Clinton: 'It is what dreams are made of'

Written by:

Frank Smith

Grace Clinton and Sarina Wiegman discuss England's emphatic 7-2 win over Austria

It is a phrase which is used a lot in football but you feel Grace Clinton was speaking from the heart when she described scoring on her senior England debut as a dream come true.

The 20-year-old was one of several players given an opportunity during the 7-2 win over Austria on Friday night out in Spain.

And the talented youngster only needed 19 minutes to score her first senior England goal as she headed in following some expert wing play by Lauren Hemp.

Clinton, who is currently on loan at Tottenham Hotspur from Manchester United, said: “It is what dreams are made of, I'm very happy. I didn't know it [scoring] would be with my head but I am just absolutely buzzing.

“Going into the game, it was probably the biggest moment of my career so far, so for it to go like that, I am very happy.

“Sarina told me at the start of the week she was going to try me in the eight position. I am open to a challenge, it is nice to be deeper and get on the ball more, it's what I want to do.

“To be in there with G [Georgia Stanway] and Tooney, they really helped me out a lot, it was nice.”

“My mum and dad have flown out this morning to see the game so I can’t wait to go and see them,” she added.

England head coach Sarina Wiegman was asked about Clinton’s debut goal in her post-match interview on ITV.

She said: “I think that's a dream debut for her, I think she played well too. She has done really well in training and plays well for Tottenham.

“She was enjoying herself, it was a very good goal and I am very happy for her.”

Grace Clinton heading in England's second goal of the night
Grace Clinton heading in England's second goal of the night

Friday night’s impressive win over Austria and Tuesday’s friendly against Italy are being used to prepare for the Lionesses’ UEFA EURO 2025 qualifying campaign, which gets underway in April.

Clinton was asked ‘how hungry’ she was to be a part of the England squad as they look to retain their EURO title in Switzerland next year.

“Yeah definitely. It is so competitive, there are so many great players in the squad and to be in and around them is an unbelievable experience. To be competing in there is what I want to be doing.”

England took the lead after just three minutes through Alessia Russo on Friday night.

Clinton’s header and a strike from Beth Mead saw the Lionesses lead 3-1 at half-time before further goals from Russo, Mead, Jess Carter and Rachel Daly – with a second for Virginia Kirchberger sandwiched in-between – meant England recorded a 7-2 win which was reflective of their dominance.

Wiegman said: “I'm just really pleased with the way we played, the intention to get the dominance we wanted on the pitch. In defence, we were on a high press to win the ball back as quickly as possible and then play the game and I think for the most part of the game we did that.

“We scored seven goals which is really good, created lots of chances and scored off a corner. I am happy with the seven goals and the performance.

“Of course, there are also little things you are not happy with. We conceded two goals out of corners, one we didn't block great and the second we should have got the header. We want to do that better on Tuesday, there is always something to learn.”

She added: “They all did well, it looked simple a lot of times but we played really well. Austria are a tough team but we didn't give them the space. In moments we did they looked dangerous. I am just really happy with the performances”