Monday 18 November 2019

Stephanie Roche's boyfriend says it should be him collecting Puskas award!

Bray man Dean Zambra hails wonder goal

Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Dean Zambra has always dreamt of sitting side by side the superstars of world football and next Monday that dream will come true – but he never thought it would be because of his girlfriend.

The Bray midfielder will make the trip to Zurich for the prestigious Ballon D’Or ceremony where his better half Stephanie Roche battles it out with Robin van Persie and James Rodriguez for the Puskas Goal of the Year award.

If Zambra had his way, he would be going toe-to-toe against Van Persie and Rodriguez himself!

“I scored one against Athlone this year so I keep saying that should have been nominated ahead of her’s so I should collect the award on her behalf if she wins,” joked Zambra.

“The ball just dropped and it was one of them where you just run and strike it and I knew straight away that it was going in.”

For now, Zambra must be content living in the shadow of Stephanie as she takes centre stage with the world’s best players in Zurich and Zambra says she is very much there on merit.

“It’s a bit weird going over. She is there on merit, we won’t be two fans. We are both United fans so to meet van Persie and Ronaldo will be great but there won’t be a hell of a lot of autographs and pictures,” added Zambra.

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Zambra may still dream about that cracker he got in Athlone but he knows he will never match what Stephanie did against Wexford Youths.

“Who could, realistically? I’d like to think I had the technique but there is more than just the three touches, I can’t see myself ever scoring a goal like that, no way,” admitted Zambra.

“I’d like to think I can judge the goals, being a footballer myself and I think it’s the best goal of the three.

“She slags me about not getting many goals. She has 75 in last three years, I have about three.”

Zambra’s goal in Athlone was more than just a 30-yard thunderbolt into the top corner. It was the final game of the season and Athlone needed to beat Bray and hope that UCD failed to win at home to Drogheda United if they were to stay in the Premier Division.

And that’s not all. On the Athlone sideline in a coaching capacity that day was Garry Zambra – Dean’s dad.

“They had to win to stay up. We were pushing for a goal and they were down to 10 men. I don’t score much , it was fate that I scored the goal which could have sent Athlone down. In the long run it didn’t matter because UCD beat Drogheda and Athlone were down.”

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