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Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 15 September, 2019
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Stephanie Roche is back home but it's not for long as talks with two English clubs begin

The Irish international admits a move back closer to home is the preferred option having had her American dream crushed.

Roche was speaking in Dublin today as she was unveiled as a health and wellbeing ambassador for Sodexo Ireland.
Roche was speaking in Dublin today as she was unveiled as a health and wellbeing ambassador for Sodexo Ireland.
Image: Peter Houlihan

STEPHANIE ROCHE WILL meet with two Women’s Super League clubs in England over the coming days as she hopes to put the disappointment of the past few weeks behind her and begin the next chapter of her career.

The Irish international is back home for a week off but after being released by Houston Dash just three months into her contract, there is little time for rest as she attempts to find a new employer.

Roche moved to America in February but played just two games for Houston before being told she was surplus to requirements.

Speaking in Dublin as she was unveiled as a Health and Wellbeing Ambassador for Sodexo Ireland, the 25-year-old admitted her preferred choice would be a move to England having ‘learnt the hard way in America’.

“I’d always planned to come home this week no matter what happened,” she said. “But obviously things changed when things didn’t work out with Houston so I was going to be busy this week but I’m even busier now as I try to figure out where I’m going to go next.

“I’ll be speaking to two teams in England this week over the next few days and then just wait and see what happens with those two and figure it out from there.

“I’m lucky that the break for the [Women's] World Cup gives me a little chance to think.”

Roche, who rose to prominence after finishing runner-up to James Rodriguez in the Fifa Puskas Award last year, spent last week training with Boston Breakers but she is holding out for an opportunity in England.

The Dubliner made just two appearances in America after making her debut for the Dash in a 2-0 win over Washington Spirit in April.

Stephanie Roche Roche is set to join her third club in less than a year should a move to England materialise. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Another brief cameo appearance from the bench was the extent of her game time in Texas before being ruthlessly cut from Houston’s roster as they looked to bring in defensive reinforcements.

Such is the cut-throat nature of the business in the States, Roche was informed of her fate during a brief meeting with the manager and club’s chief executive and that was that.

“I can’t say who I’m in talks with just yet,” she continued. “But it’s obviously closer to home and over there it’s not very good for the player as it’s more in favour of the team.

“In England it’s different though and it would give me more time to settle. It would be a better option.”

The Women’s National League is currently on a mid-season break for the duration of the World Cup, which is currently being held in Canada, and doesn’t resume until 12 July.

Roche wasn’t willing to speculate on which clubs have been in contact with her but the Dubliner believes she’s as fit as ever and would be ready to slot straight into any team.

“It’s all go, go, go in America with an emphasis on running and fitness and when I was released I trained with a men’s team alongside Dean [Zambra] to keep fit.

“I could have come home earlier but spent a few weeks over there looking for something but I have to think about what’s best for me as a footballer and it’s not about proving a point to anyone.

“It’s not like I hate football now or anything like that, I’ve been training as much I can and that’s all I’m focused on at the minute.”

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Ryan Bailey

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