Stephanie Roche admits Houston regret as she signs with Sunderland
Stephanie Roche has admitted that she made a mistake in moving to America but is determined to get her career back on track with Sunderland.
The 2014 FIFA Puskas Award runner-up was unveiled on Wearside a month after she was released by the Houston Dash and is eager to make her mark with the Women's Super League 1 club.
Roche has signed an 18-month deal with the Lady Black Cats, and admits it is a relief to have secured her future as a professional footballer.
"It has been a crazy, stressful few weeks but I am delighted to be playing football again," she says in her independent.ie column.
"Before I joined the Houston Dash there was interest from a number of English clubs. A couple of teams got in touch, but I got attracted to the talk of American life and took that option.
"It didn't work out and in hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have taken it. Perhaps I should have come straight here, but better late than never.
With the season on a break, the 26-year-old will have to wait until mid-July 12 to make her debut, but has been hugely impressed by the facilities at the club, who are fourth in the top flight."
"I had my first training session last week and immediately felt at home in my new surroundings. The facilities are incredible."
The Ireland striker believes that she didn't get enough chances to show her worth with the Dash and is keen to prove that there is far more to her game than a once-in-a-lifetime strike.
"That goal for Peamount United has provided me with the opportunity to become a professional footballer, but I am more than just one wonder strike," she insists.
"I have scored some very important goals for Ireland and Peamount, I have scored cup-winning goals and league-winning goals, but they didn't grab the same attention.
"I want to keep my head down, train hard and hopefully people who know their football will also see that. Let the next chapter in my career begin."