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It's not just Stephanie Roche: 6 more Women's National League stars you should know

There’s no shortage of talent in our domestic league.

SHE MAY BE seen as the marquee export of the Women’s National League, but Stephanie Roche isn’t the only homegrown player to transport her talent to foreign shores.

Roche has been playing in France with ASPTT Albi ever since THAT stunning volley for Peamount United alerted the world to her skills. But now the 25-year-old is primed for a fresh move abroad.

Ahead of Monday’s ceremony in Zurich, where Roche is up against Robin van Persie and James Rodriguez for the FIFA Puskas Goal of the Year Award, there has been a lot of focus on women’s football in Ireland.

Well, if you didn’t know much about the domestic league before Roche became a superstar, then you should be comforted by the news that many other graduates from the WNL are excelling abroad.

Here are three who deserve your attention:

Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United, Sweden)

Louise Quinn 20/8/2014 Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Destined to take over as captain of the Republic of Ireland women’s team, this Wicklow native has been a professional in Sweden for two years now having previously excelled for Peamount United. A tough defender, who can also play in midfield, the 24-year-old is a natural leader and a composed footballer.

Megan Campbell (Florida State University, USA)

Megan Campbell and Virginia Kirchberger Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Campbell, 21, knows all about winning and she added another medal to her growing collection just last month after helping the Florida State Seminoles win the NCAA Championship. A host of clubs around the world is monitoring the former Raheny United ace’s situation as she is expected to have a bright future.

Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City, Scotland)

Denise O'Sullivan and Lucija Grad Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

A former standout with Cork City, O’Sullivan has been turning heads in the UEFA Women’s Champions League with Glasgow since her move across the Irish Sea in July 2013. A clever forward, the 20-year-old is at her best when setting up others but is never shy to take aim at goal.

Three WNL stars on the rise 

Roche is the deserved poster girl for the WNL right now, but she could very well have company in the coming months with several home-based players hot on the trailblazer’s heels.

Here are three to watch out for:

Niamh Reid-Burke (Raheny United)

Niamh Reid Burke argues with Referee Eleni Lampardariou Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Even though she is a goalkeeper, Reid-Burke has the potential to go very far in her career. Already acting as understudy to Emma Byrne with the Republic of Ireland women’s team, the Blanchardstown native, 23, continues to impress as a superb shot-stopper and a confident organizer of a backline.

Emma Hansberry (Castlebar Celtic)

Emma Hansberry

A classy operator, Hansberry is a box-to-box midfielder who brings the best out in those around her, yet regularly shines all on her own. Just like UCD Waves duo Ciara Grant and Dora Gorman, she has all of the talent required to be a starter for the Ireland senior team for years to come.

Katie McCabe (Raheny United)

Katie McCabe celebrates scoring Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Part of the Ireland Under 19 team who reached the semi-finals of last summer’s UEFA European Championships, McCabe is following her brother Gary, who plays for Shamrock Rovers, and using her skill to dazzle. Along with Siobhan Killeen, Clare Shine, and Rianna Jarrett, she is one of the country’s best young attacking talents.

You can still vote for Stephanie Roche to win the Fifa Puskas Award by clicking here.

Pupils at Steph Roche’s old school prove that her goal was the best

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About the author:

Gareth Maher

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