Stephanie Roche hopes her FIFA Puskas award nominated goal will put woman’s football on the map

By Pearse Corcoran

A goal she scored might be nominated for the FIFA Puskas award, but Stephanie Roche reckons it wasn’t even the best in the Women’s National league. The Dubliner rose to prominence late last year when her sensational goal in a league game for Peamount United was broadcast around the world – after it was picked up on YouTube.

The 25-year-old mesmerised the opposition and spectators alike when she controlled the ball, twice flicked it over the head of her defender and slammed it home from outside the box. The video – which has been viewed nearly three million times – has catapulted the striker into the limelight, culminating in a nomination for the prestigious ‘best goal of the season’ award alongside stars Robin van Persie and Diego Costa among others.


The striker seemed glad her goal was caught on camera, because the standard in the league is always that high. She said, “I think there’s no doubt we under estimate the standard in ladies’ football. I think there [are] so many girls in Ireland who have such skill and there have been goals [that] haven’t been caught on camera.”

The old saying ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ is poignant for ladies’ football in Ireland after this goal from Roche. The striker points to the Ladies’ FAI Cup Final – where Peamount United player Katie McCabe scored a fantastic free kick – as an example of the increasing standards of the women’s football. McCabe curled home a wonderful goal in the final to seal the Cup for her team – a usual occurrence – according to Roche, “goals like that wouldn’t have been caught on video before so it’s great that people are getting behind the game now.”

Wonder goal. Stephanie Roche hopes her super strike will help raise the profile of woman's football

Wonder goal. Stephanie Roche hopes her super strike will help raise the profile of woman’s football

Roche, now plying her trade in France, has referenced the whole experience as very humbling. She has received massive backing from around the country and abroad, with the whole of Ireland getting behind the striker for the big prize. She added, “…the support I’ve been getting – not just from Ireland – but from all round the world, has been great and I’m happy to know that I’m representing Ireland.” Roche will find out on the 1st of December if she has made it into the top three, but no matter what the result, is the young Dubliner has put ladies’ football on the map in Ireland.

Do you think Stephanie Roche’s goal will win the Puskas award?

What is your favourite goal of the year?


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