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Stephanie Roche Knows 'Reality' Of Her Ireland World Cup Chances

Pictured is Republic of Ireland footballer and ambassador, Stephanie Roche unveiling a unique collaboration between Carlsberg 0.0, the FAI and The Square Ball in Dublin - ‘The GIG’ - Ireland’s first women’s sports bar, to celebrate the Girls in Green. Enjoy Carlsberg Sensibly. Visit www.drinkaware.ie
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Stephanie Roche knows that her chances of being part of Ireland's squad for this summer's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand are slim, though she is still holding some hope of being selected by Vera Pauw.

Roche, who has 58 caps for Ireland, is currently out injured after picking up a hamstring injury just two games into her Shamrock Rovers career.

'I'd love to go to a World Cup with Ireland'

"Obviously, the reality of it is that I've been out more than I've been in, in terms of Vera's squads over the last couple of years," she said at a Carlsberg 0.0 event.

"I've been at every home-based session that I've been able to be at in terms of fitness, and with the injury, I've been out for a little while now.

"Hopefully, if I can get back in and do well for Rovers, that's the priority, get a few games under my belt and hopefully impress and then get back in the home-based squad, and see what I can do.

"The reality, I'm not sure if I can, just based off what's happened in the last couple of years. I'm not sure if I'm going to get in, but obviously, there's always going to be the hope. I'd love to go to a World Cup with Ireland. I'm very proud to play for Ireland when I get the opportunity to do it.

"But all I have to do now is just get myself right and focus on playing well for Rovers and then go from there."

Stephanie roche ireland world cup

15 June 2022; Stephanie Roche during a Republic of Ireland Women training session at FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Roche tore her hamstring at the beginning of March and is now eight weeks into recovery. She hopes to be back on the pitch in the next two to three weeks.

"I felt it in the first half, didn't realise what it was," she said.

"I didn't think it was a hamstring injury. It was a strange one. It's lower down on the tendon towards my knee. It was just one of those where I played through thinking it was OK. After the game, the physio had a look and then we had a scan on the Tuesday and it revealed a tear.

"Disappointment obviously because things were going well. I felt I was doing well in the first few games. Then, it went at a time when the team was getting together.

"That's what happens. It's football, and I need to get on with it now. I've had a really good team with me at Rovers, looking after me and making sure I get back fit.


"I had a chat with the physio [on Monday night] and it's just they have to be very cautious with it because there have been issues with it before in terms of other people having a reoccurrence of the injury.

"I want to make sure that everything's really, really strong before I take the risk of going back. I've been able to train a lot through it, which is kind of unusual. It's a bit of an unusual hamstring injury.

"It's a bit lower down, so I've been able to run and stuff like that and keep myself fit and do a lot of strength to work.

Stephanie roche ireland world cup

11 March 2023; Stephanie Roche of Shamrock Rovers during the SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division match between Shamrock Rovers and Treaty United at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen Marken/Sportsfile

"I'm hoping that it won't take too long just to get my match sharpness and match fitness back. That's kind of been a positive.

"I've been back and training a little bit as kind of a floater and stuff like that. Getting a feel for the ball again, which is nice.

"Neil Farrugia had a similar injury and had a lot of trouble with it. Rovers, through Neil's injury, have learnt a lot from it."

If she is not at the World Cup as a player, Roche hopes to be involved as a pundit for RTÉ's coverage of the tournament.

She also feels that Shamrock Rovers teammate Savannah McCarthy, who recently returned to action after 13 months out injured, could be one of the 23 players selected by Vera Pauw for the World Cup.

29 March 2023; Savannah McCarthy, left, and Stephanie Roche of Shamrock Rovers before the SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division match between Shamrock Rovers and Wexford Youths at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

"Sav is obviously an excellent player," said Roche.

"The improvement of her over the last number of years has been huge. When she got back into the Ireland team, I thought she was a different player. She just looked physically and mentally a really good player. She fitted into what Vera wanted to do in terms of that left foot, the left side of the three [centre-backs] if she plays.

"She's been brilliant for us. Her attitude in training, her determination to get back is there. I'm sure she'll want to be at the World Cup.

"Definitely a few more games under her belt, and I think she will be back involved in the home-based sessions over the next couple of weeks.

"The opportunity is going to be there for her. She brings something different. An excellent player with an excellent attitude. I don't see why Vera wouldn't want her there if she is fully fit and ready to go."

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