Stephanie Roche speaks about THAT goal and the importance of votes for women's football
What Stephanie Roche's goal for Peamount United may lack in big-stadium surroundings, it makes up for in pure footballing gold.
Since controlling with a cross with her right foot, flicking it over a defender and volleying home with her left like Zidane could only dream of, the viewing figures of Roche's goal have reached over 2.5 million.
But these numbers don't matter in the great scheme of things. What does matter for Roche, the 25-year-old from Shankhill, is that she has since been nominated for the prestigious FIFA Puskás Goal of the Year award where she is the only female represented to stand alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and James Rodriguez (not bad company to be in).
Speaking to SportsJOE's big sister Her.ie, Roche, who is currently giving goalkeepers' nightmares for French club ASPTT Albi, emphasised the important implications that votes for her absolute belter of a strike can have on women's football.
“This whole thing has been amazing. I was delighted to score that goal against Wexford Youths. At the time it was my first goal of the season so I was just happy to score at all, but to score a goal that has been recognised so much is unbelievable!
“It came as a big surprise to me to see the reaction it’s got. At the time, I just thought it was a great thing for women’s football as it put it on show for everyone to see!” the striker continued, adding that she has also been capped for Ireland at under 17 and under 19 levels having made her debut at the age of 14.
“Everyone has been great about the video of the goal. Last year, when the goal went viral everyone was delighted and genuinely happy for me which is great to have. And right now they are all trying to help get my goal out there and get votes!
“It’s not only a great thing for women’s football anymore, it’s a great thing for Ireland and the way Irish people are responding is fantastic. I first heard the news on Twitter. I was delighted, I had heard a rumour a few weeks back but didn’t believe it.”
“It’s a great honour for me to be named with such great players so hopefully I can make it to the top three now if I can get enough votes,” she continued, adding that she’d scored a total of 71 goals in her three seasons with Peamount, winning the Golden Boot award twice and scooping the League’s All Time Highest Scorer last season, netting 26 in total.
“I’m so happy it’s a huge achievement for me and the support from the Irish public along with some big companies and stars has been brilliant. I’ll need all the help I can get if I’m going to stand a chance though!”
— Cian Healy (@ProperChurch) November 13, 2014
“The public voting lines are open until December 1st then the top three are in a public poll on the night of the awards in January. Either way, it’s a massive honour to be on the list,” she said, adding that her time in France is not affecting her international career in anyway but that it is in fact progressing her so that she can do better for Ireland.
“I started out with Vale View Boys team before moving to Cabinteely Girls and then moving on to play with Peamount for just over three years,” the Dublin woman explained. “I moved to the French Division 1 side ASPTT Albi in July after signing a one-year contract.”
“I came here to try and play at a higher level so that I can progress and get better, so that I can do better for Ireland. All leagues in the world have international breaks just like the men’s so I will never miss games,” she concluded.
Interview courtesy of @MaryMcGuire7