Wednesday 13 December 2017

Roche pride at 50-cap milestone

Republic of Ireland ace Stephanie Roche Photo: PA News
Republic of Ireland ace Stephanie Roche Photo: PA News Newsdesk Newsdesk

Stephanie Roche hopes to add to her international appearance record today against Wales, after reaching the milestone of 50 international caps during Ireland's Cyprus Cup campaign.

The 27-year-old striker, who recorded the achievement in an otherwise uneventful nil-all draw against Hungary on Friday, lines out against the Welsh at 2.30pm.

Roche said she was "proud" to reach the milestone and will seek to close in on Aine O'Gorman's national record of 92 caps.

"I started playing with the U-17s side when I was 14, so I've been around the international set-up quite a while. I always had that belief that I could get into the senior team when I was younger," Roche said.

"Obviously, getting into the team was a great moment for me and now I've got 50 caps, that is something I can be really proud of."

"It feels like your first cap every time you play. I just want to keep getting more caps and with Colin (Bell) as the new manager, who has brought in a new style of play, I just want to stay around for a lot longer."

The Sunderland Ladies forward registered her 13th Irish goal in a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic last week, eight years after first making her mark on the scoreboard with the international set-up.

A win against the second-placed Welsh would see Bell's charges top their group, but Roche expects a stern test.

"Wales have got a good squad and have excellent players," she added.

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