Ella Toone has revealed that she was determined to take her opportunities when they came during England’s triumphant Euro 2022 campaign in July.
Toone, only capped at senior international level for the first time in 2021, appeared off the bench in every England game throughout the tournament – manager Sarina Wiegman stuck firmly to the same starting XI – but went on to have some of the biggest impacts of any player.
Indeed, the 23-year-old would keenly watch the action from the bench to understand where the spaces were to ensure she could make a difference when she eventually got on.
The Manchester United star scored the late equaliser that forced the semi-final against Spain to extra-time, before also opening the scoring in the final against Germany.
"I knew my role and throughout the tournament it was about making sure I took my opportunities when they came — and that was a big opportunity in the Spain game,” Toone told the Daily Mail.
"[The ball] fell for me and I managed to put it away and give us that extra chance of staying in the tournament [against Spain]. I made sure I was ready when called upon.
"During the matches I watched the game properly and tried to process where the spaces were for me. Every time Sarina asked me to come on, she made sure I went out there and enjoyed myself and that's what I did."
Already back on international duty after a brief holiday and pre-season at club level, Toone started England’s win over Austria on Saturday alongside United teammates Alessia Russo and Mary Earps. Russo and new United signing Nikita Parris scored the goals that secured the Lionesses their place at the 2023 World Cup next summer. Katie Zelem was also an unused substitute.