Wednesday 7 December 2016

Stephanie Roche: I always find it strange coming into a new team and it's a disadvantage

Published 11/07/2015 | 17:10

Stephanie Roche will wear the number 10 shirt with Sunderland
Stephanie Roche will wear the number 10 shirt with Sunderland

I'm really proud to be to be playing in Sunderland and being given the number 10 jersey is a real honour.

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It's been a busy month or so for me since returning from America. I spent some time at home with family and friends and it was nice to be back in Ireland.

I also signed up to be Sodexo's health and wellbeing ambassador. Sodexo is a leading food and facilities management company and one of the largest in the world.

In my role with Sodexo I hope to promote 'Healthwise' a programme of healthy eating and healthy lifestyle tips to the client employees and those who use the staff restaurants.

As an athlete this is something that is close to my heart. I have to try eat as well as possible if I want to be able to perform so I'm delighted to be part of it and looking forward to doing more with them.

I'm also hoping to get some good recipe ideas myself from their chefs!! I made a short visit to Waterford where myself and Dean stayed in the lovely Faithlegg House hotel.

I have to say it's one of the most relaxing places I've ever been. Even driving in the entrance of the place I felt a calming feeling come over me. We only stayed for one night but I wished we could have stayed a lot longer!

Obviously life has once again changed for me. I'm now living in Sunderland. It's a bit different from Houston but on the other hand it's more like Dublin which is always a good thing.

The locals are all very friendly and it's made settling in very easy for me. I've moved into my apartment and have everything set up.

The important thing for me is that I'm back to full time training. We train twice a day and five days a week. I've met all my teammates and coaches and they have all been very welcoming and nice.

The girls are a mad bunch, but I feel they have a very good team spirit which is great to see and it's obviously part of what makes them a good team.

I always find it strange coming to a new team for the first time, you would think I'd be used to it by now!! But I am a quiet person, I've always been that way.

I'm not the type of person who will come into a team and be loud and brash. That's not me and I do think it's worked against me in the past.

For me I think it should be about what I can do with the football not what way I talk about football. I can't wait to get started and I hope to let my football do the talking in the long run.

I played my first match since May in a 'behind closed doors' game last week. It had been lovely all day and just before we warmed up we got some proper north east weather!

It rained for the whole match! It was nice to get back on the pitch and get some match time again. It was also good to play with the girls and to get an idea as to how our manager Carlton and assistant Mel want us to play.

The facilities here are top notch and the training has been tough but enjoyable. There's a buzz about the place at the minute with the men's team back in training this week and with us gearing up for the second half of the season.

After England doing so well in the World Cup the English have really started to get behind the women's game which is great to see.

As I said, I really want to just focus on football over the next few months, I feel as fit as I've ever been with all the training I've done the last few months but for me it's all about game time.

I want to work hard enough to stake a place in the team and hopefully get regular game time in order to show what I can do. We are back in action tomorrow as we take on Notts County at Hetton centre.

I'm really looking forward to the game, the team have done really well in the first half of the season and everyone is looking forward to getting back playing matches. I hope to play my part tomorrow and we come away with three points.

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