Wednesday 18 October 2017

Break-through sportsperson of the year: Stephanie Roche

Stephanie Roche
Stephanie Roche
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

The Irish international joined global superstars Robin van Persie and James Rodriguez in the FIFA shortlist for Goal of the Year as she herself has become a household name.

Despite the fact the goal came at the end of 2013, Stephanie Roche began the year at Peamount United and wasn't a household name outside of Irish female football circles.

Fast-forward 12 months and she is now a professional footballer in France and receiving global praise (and votes) for her sensational strike.

The goal truly was a world class effort and has led to praise from footballing legends.

Stephanie Roche
Stephanie Roche

"I don't know if she's going to win the prize, we'll see, but her goal is very beautiful, if it had been in a Champions League final (women) or in a match with 100,000 spectators it would have caused a sensation," Laurent Blanc suggested after she was short-listed for the award.

John Giles too added that he would hand the award to Roche, but because of the technique, not because she is Irish or female.

"If I was making the choice I would give her the number one spot, the technique, the finish and everything that goes with it," he said.

"Definitely I would give it to her and it's not because she's Irish, but I think it was absolutely brilliant. The skills, the finish, the balance, everything about it."

Similar to Katie Taylor, hopefully it will have a knock-on effect for women in sport, though time will tell if it has the desired effect.

For now let us embrace an outstanding finish and vote the strike as the number one goal.

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