York Valkyrie were delighted to announce the signing of England international winger Eboni Partington last week from St Helens.
We spoke to the Valkyrie's first new signing of the off-season about making to the move to North Yorkshire.
Eboni, welcome to York! How excited are you to have signed for the Valkyrie?
“I’m really excited to be here and I’m looking forward to the new challenge. I was anxious about moving because I loved my time at St Helens, but when the opportunity came up, everything about it felt right. The girls, Lindsay (Anfield) and Clint (Goodchild) have been really welcoming. Everything about coming here felt right for me."
You’ve played against York numerous times before with St Helens. How did you find those past experiences?
“Those games were always our biggest challenge. You never knew what they were going to throw at you as they had so many strike players. They were always our toughest opponents over the last few years. So I’m excited to be part of their environment because you can see that they train hard and work hard on the field, which is what I want to do too to better myself as a player."
How much are looking forward to joining a side that won won the League Leaders’ Shield and Grand Final in 2023?
“Winning the Betfred Challenge Cup with St Helens has given me a taste of what winning feels like and what it’s about. You play the game to win, so I’ll be giving everything I’ve got to add value to the squad, become a better player and have a positive impact on the team. Fingers crossed, we win some more trophies."
Lindsay Anfield has said she sees you as an out-and-out winger. Are looking to nail down that spot next year?
“I’ve enjoyed playing different positions in the past, but I think that my strong points really show when I’m on the wing, whether that’s returning the ball, finishing tries or pushing around the middle. Hopefully I can make a positive impact on the edges and I can nail down that spot on the wing."
And you’ll potentially be a resuming your centre-wing partnership with Tamzin Renouf, who you’ve played with for England…
“I’ve enjoyed playing and training alongside Tamzin, both with England and England Knights. She’s a great player and a really positive person, so hopefully we can work well together next year!”
You’re still only 21. How much potential do you see in your own game in the years to come?
“I enjoyed working under Matty Smith at St Helens, but I’m really excited to be working with a new coach in Lindsay here at York. She’s been really helpful so far and from playing against her teams, you can see that she’s a great coach, so I’m looking forward to getting her input on my game and hopefully improving that as much as possible."
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