Ireland striker Stephanie Roche confirms move to Serie A side Florentia
Ireland international Stephanie Roche has confirmed she has signed a contract to play for Florentia in Italy's Serie A.
The 29-year-old shot to prominence after being nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award for best goal in 2014, and had been in the market for a new club after being released by Sunderland back in August.
Roche weighed up a number of offers before deciding to sign with Florentia.
Roche, who has scored seven internationals goals across 50 appearances for Ireland, made the announcement on social media.
"Delighted to announce that I've signed for Fiorentina," she said.
"A very ambitious club with a great work ethic and some excellent individual players. The team have started the season well and I can't wait to get involved and contribute for the rest of the season."
"It's been a long time coming but I'm really looking forward to it," Roche told RTE 2fm's Game On. "It was a bit of a whirlwind experience with the club but it has worked out very well. Florentia have been very patient with me as I get back to full fitness, so I am happy to sign here and looking forward to getting going again.
"It came about by chance through a guy I met in England. I had spoken to a couple of clubs in England and Spain. Then I came over here in September and I was just back from injury, doing contact training.
"Lucikly enough, Peamount United had let me train with them for two weeks before I came over.
"I had a trial and it went really well. But I was quite unfit so they gave me the opportunity to go home and get my rehab and fitness in place.
"Then I came back over at the start of October and had another week's trial, which went really well. And then they asked me to sign.
"I'm at an age now where I've had to think about the latter stages of my career, though I was never in a position that I wanted to stop playing, so I had to keep working hard.
"My contract ended in June and I wasn't back playing until September. A lot of clubs in England had got their squads together in June or July so I was at a stage where I was wondering what I was going to do and whether England was my only option.
"Then I was lucky enough that a couple of clubs from Italy and Spain came in and I was able to get that opportunity to go abroad and try it out. And it has worked out.
"I'm in one of the most beautiful places in the world so I am going to have to enjoy the experience of being here and not just playing football but to live the life as well.
"And I have travelled the world with the Ireland team so I guess it is just one of the perks of playing professional football.
"The league is getting more competitive. Teams like Juventus, AC Milan and Roma have put women's team into it and the Italian FA have invested as well. So it was really exciting to see that I would be playing against teams like that."