Wednesday 21 August 2019

John Giles: Stephanie Roche's goal was absolutely fantastic and deserves to win award

Stephanie Roche
Stephanie Roche

Declan Whooley

John Giles believes Stephanie Roche's wonder goal for Peamount United deserves to be crowned the FIFA Goal of the Year ahead of the two other contenders.

The 25 year-old Irish football star is on the final shortlist alongside internationally renowned players Robin van Persie and James Rodriguez.

Speaking on Newstalk's Off The Ball, Giles believes that he would choose Roche's strike ahead of the two World Cup goals and not because she is Irish.

"I only saw it for the first time last night and it was absolutely brilliant," he said tonight.

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

"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."

Peamount United player Stephanie Roche. Inset: Stephanie's entry in the 2014 Puskas Goal of the Year
Peamount United player Stephanie Roche. Inset: Stephanie's entry in the 2014 Puskas Goal of the Year

"I think it was a better goal than the two goals at the World Cup."

The winner will be announced on January 12 at the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala dinner.

Roche, who now plays professionally in France,  scored the goal at the beginning of this season for Peamount United, who were playing against Wexford Youths. Just 85 people attended the game and witnessed her impressive touch.

It’s a far cry from Van Persie’s World Cup goal for the Netherlands against Spain, which was watched by 48,000 fans in Brazil - and millions more at home.

It's pure luck that anyone has seen Roche's goal at all. Peamount’s manager Eileen Gleeson caught it on camera - incredibly fortunate considering the fact that most of the matches aren’t filmed. She edited the footage and uploaded it to YouTube, where it's now had more than two million views.

“It was mental how many people watched the video,” says Roche, who thinks it proves that women’s football can be just as skilled as the men’s game.

“If there were more cameras at the games, people would see them and this is what could be done."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport