Ireland international footballer Stephanie Roche is about to swap her football boots for dancing shoes, as the latest contestant announced for RTÉ 1’s Dancing with the Stars.
33-year-old Roche, from Shankill, Dublin, is one of Ireland’s best-known female footballers.
The talented striker told Ryan Tubridy on his RTÉ Radio 1 show this morning: “I’m excited and nervous to get started on Dancing with the Stars.
“This is a whole new experience for me and one that will definitely take me out of my comfort zone but I’m excited to learn to dance and to enjoy the whole experience.”
Roche, also an RTÉ pundit, made her international debut in 2009 and has scored 14 goals over the course of 58 appearances.
The Peamount United player is likely to prove a hit on the dance floor, due to her skills as an athlete.
The footballer rose to fame in 2013 when her goal for Peamount against a Wexford side was runner up for the FIFA Puskas Award for best goal of the year.
The footage went viral with over 5 million views and brought her to international attention.
She was the only woman to be voted a finalist that year, rubbing shoulders with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the ceremony.
In 2017, the striker was front and centre of the group of Irish players who spoke out about the inadequate conditions that the women’s international squad faced.
She married her long-term partner, Dean Zambra in June and is just back from honeymoon in time to start DWTS training.
A spokesperson for RTÉ said: “This brave and bold move by the players brought about change and many believe it paved the way for the current squad qualifying for the World Cup.”
Former Ireland rugby player Shane Byrne, former State pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy, former Dublin GAA player Paul Brogan, social influencer, businesswoman Suzanne Jackson, Panti Bliss and Eurovision star Brooke Scullion will join Roche on the dancefloor.
DWTS judge Brian Redmond told Ryan Tubridy this morning: “Someone who scares me quite a lot when it comes to potential criticism is Panti – I may have met my match.”
The show returns to RTÉ One in January for series six.