Stephanie Roche: I thought the media attention had died down – then I got White House invitation from President Obama
Whirlwind. That is the best word I can find to describe my life the last five months since I was nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award.
It’s been a blur and I’ve had very little time to reflect on all that has happened. This opportunity to write is probably the first time I’ve had available to consider what a journey it has been.
With constant media attention and appearances, being recognised in the streets and in shopping centres, being asked for pictures and autographs, it’s been very surreal to be treated as a celebrity or a star you see on TV and in movies.
That said, it's all been a great experience for me and my family and I have loved every minute of it. I have attended some very prestigious events both here in Ireland and abroad and been lucky to meet so many people from every avenue of entertainment, fashion, sport. Not to mention the Irish sporting legends and superstars from the world of football I have spoken to along the way.
Also as a girl away from football I have been fortunate enough to wear some incredible dresses and been looked after by brilliant hair, make-up and fashion stylists.
Fashion has always been a keen interest of mine. Away from the pitch, I love picking out nice clothes, so it was another great benefit of my new-found fame to be able to experience the high quality fashion and beauty industry in Ireland.
Most girls would love the attention I have been afforded before attending events and I’m very grateful to everyone who has been involved.
The most satisfying part of the journey however has been the unbelievable amount of support and well-wishing that has come my way, both from Ireland and around the globe. I’m overwhelmed at how nice people have been and delighted I could represent the Irish nation on a sporting level.
I can’t thank you all enough for the amazing support and encouragement and I hope you will continue to support me in the future as I continue my journey as a professional footballer.
I am really excited to be keeping readers updated with my progress both on and off the pitch in America with my new weekly column on Independent.ie. The opportunity to play in one of the world’s best leagues was too good to refuse and it will to be a challenge that I’m determined to meet head on.
Lastly, just when I thought the media attention had died down and it was time to fully focus on football, I received a very special invitation during the week. President Barack Obama has officially invited me to the White House for the Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations.
It’s an unbelievable feeling to be asked and I’m still a little in shock that I received the invite. I will be honoured to represent my country at the White House on March 17th.
Read Stephanie's weekly column every week exclusively on Independent.ie