Known for scoring high pressure-shots with ease and consistently having among the best shooting averages in the domestic and international game, role models don’t come much better for young shooters. And it was Harten-like composure we saw from Clinton when the 19-year-old was tasked with entering a nauseatingly-tense game to replace regular shooter Joyce Mvula in the final quarter.
Manchester Thunder were chasing Loughborough Lighting’s lead down in the closing minutes, Clinton somehow blocked out the deafening noise in a sold-out Thunderdome to calmly turn and score in the dying seconds. But in all the chaos, the final whistle had blown and Clinton’s shot hadn’t counted. It was a particularly tough pill to swallow for the Oldham-born player, but the real story here is that she scored a goal even the great Jo Harten may have missed. Clinton’s appearances this season have all been from the bench, with coach Karen Greig opting to use her as an impact sub. It’s working and most importantly, a more-mature-than-her-years Clinton understands why. “When I sit on the bench, I am always learning, I want to get whatever I can this season,” the England U21 explains. “I think ‘I could get on and then take the opportunity when I do. It doesn’t bother me sitting on the bench as I learn from the game going on and watching Joyce is really helpful as she’s so good.”