Ebony Salmon Profile
|Born||Jan 27, 2001|
England youngster's goals for Bristol City have put her career back on track after Manchester United move backfired.
Ebony Salmon is an English professional footballer who plays for Bristol City Women in the FA Women's Super League (FA WSL) and the England Women's National Team.
In the past, she has played for Aston Villa, Manchester United and Sheffield United. Salmon was also captain of the England Under-17s.
Breakthrough at Aston Villa
Salmon spent three years in the Aston Villa youth set-up before earning promotion to the senior team in the 2017/18 WSL 2 season.
On October 8, 2017, Salmon made her debut for Villa seniors in the 2-1 loss to Sheffield Ladies.
On November 12, the forward scored her first goal for Villa in a 4-0 win over Watford, netting her team's second goal in the 23rd minute.
Although Villa finished second from bottom in the league, Salmon scored seven goals in 12 appearances in WSL 2.
Manchester United move turns sour
On July 1, 2018, Salmon joined the newly-formed Manchester United women's team to compete in the FA Women's Championship but by January she had moved to Sheffield United on loan, having still not made her debut for Man Utd.
During her time on loan, Salmon rediscovered her scoring touch to some degree, but it was not enough to endear her to her parent club.
At the end of the season, she was released by Manchester United without having made an appearance.
Bristol City switch pays dividends
On July 15, 2019, Salmon signed for Bristol City ahead of the 2019/20 FA WSL season.
"I'm really looking forward to getting going at a new club and to see what the new season brings," said Salmon.
"Bristol City is a club that is renowned for giving chances to young players and that was big reason behind my decision to join the club.
"I feel as though I'm ready to make the step up to the Barclays FA Women's Super League and I can't wait to get going at the start of the season."
She made her debut for Bristol City on the opening day of the season - September 7, 2019 - in a 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion.
On January 5, 2020, Salmon scored the only goal in a 1-0 away win over her former club, Manchester United.
She later admitted that scoring against her old club was a career highlight.
"I'd say the highlight of my club career was probably scoring the winning goal against Man United, because obviously I got released from Man United," Salmon told Bristol Live.
"I had a few conversations there when I was leaving, questioning if I was ready for that league and I think that just proved people wrong - and proved that I was."
Salmon suggested that she felt playing a major role at Bristol was better for her development than a bit-part role at another club.
"Coming to Bristol was to get more minutes," she confirmed. "I think at Man United, a lot more chances were created, but I never played there so I was never involved in any of those chances, whereas at Bristol, yeah, we do create less chances but more often than not, I'm involved in those chances which is obviously better for my development."
Salmon was Bristol City's top scorer in the shortened 2019/20 season, netting five times as the team avoided relegation largely due to her goals.
Salmon leaps into England squad
Salmon made her debut for England Under-17s in April 2017 in a 2-0 defeat to the United States.
In her third appearance for the team, she scored both goals in a 6-2 defeat to the United States.
Having played a crucial role in qualification for the 2018 UEFA Women's U-17 Championship, Salmon captained England at the tournament.
She scored the only goal in England's 2-1 defeat to Spain and netted a hat-trick against Italy to seal England's place in the knockout stage. They ultimately finished the tournament in fourth place.
On February 23, 2021, Salmon made her debut for the England senior women's side in a 6-0 win over Northern Ireland, coming on as an 84th-minute substitute for Rachel Daly.
Salmon has earned praise from stand-in Bristol City head coach Matt Beard, who has earmarked her as a future star.
"Let's not muck about here, Ebony is going to go to the very top," Beard told the Express and Star.
Ebony Salmon personal life
According to the Express and Star, Salmon got her first taste of playing football by playing against older brothers Leon and Levi in the back garden of their home in Kingswinford.
Salmon played alongside boys with Gornal Colts in the Stourbridge and District Youth League.
"When Ebony was six, about to turn seven, we advertised for girls to come and make up a team but we couldn't get any," explained Owen, her father.
"In the end I just decided to run a boys' team and just include Ebony in that.
"Back then it was unusual. I think it was about five years before we played another team with a girl in it.
"You would hear one or two giggles, maybe a parent exclaiming: 'It's a girl!' But that all stopped once they saw what she could do."
Naturally, Owen was overjoyed and surprised when Ebony earned a senior national team call-up.
"I was on the A449, a couple of miles from home, and I pulled into a lay-by to take the call," said Owen.
"I noticed my wife and son were on the call too and my immediate thought was: 'This is nice, they are going to sing Happy Birthday!'
"That's when Ebony broke the news. I remember punching the air, then I cried. I just wasn't expecting it."
Speaking of his surprise that Ebony's call-up to the senior team had come at such a young age, Owen said: "At first I thought she was telling us she'd been called up by the under-21s, but then I thought, hang on, there are no under-21 matches at the minute.
"Ebony's long-term goal has always been to represent her country. To get her first senior call-up now, at such a young age, it is unreal."