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Stephanie Roche's 'Nightmare' Year Over As She Joins New Club

Stephanie Roche's 'Nightmare' Year Over As She Joins New Club
By PJ Browne
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Stephanie Roche has signed for an Italian Serie A club.

The Ireland international told Balls that she is unable to name the club at the moment as she is awaiting international clearance and her new employers wish to make the announcement themselves.

It ends what Roche called a "nightmare" year which began in September last year when she picked up a leg injury during the last minutes of a World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland in Lurgan.

What was supposed to be a 12-week recovery turned into 12 months - it was a much more complicated injury than initially thought.

Roche was under contract with Sunderland Ladies for the majority of her injury. That deal ended during the summer.


"I got back training in September," said the 29-year-old at an event to promote Heinz Sports Club.

"There was a lot of speculation that I might go to Man Utd because I said it in an interview that I follow them and it just took off.


"With the WSL, they have their squad set up from June, July or August at the latest and I got back playing in September.

"I was at the stage where I was like, 'Shit, what am I going to do? Where am I going to go play?'"

A number of offers - two from Spain and one each from clubs in France and Italy - eventually materialised.


I went over to Italy and went on trial and it went really well.

That was in September when I hadn't trained properly. I had two weeks training, went over and played a match.

It went quite well but, obviously, I wasn't quite fit enough to do a lot but they saw they saw enough to say, 'Look, go home for a month, train for a bit and then come back over, we'll get you on a week's trial and we'll go from there'.

That was about three weeks and it went so well, I just said, 'You know what, I'm going to sign here because they treated me really well and were really understanding about the injury'.

I moved over last week.

The Heinz Sports Club campaign is all about supporting kids in their pursuit of sport providing free sports gear and equipment to schools and clubs when you collect the tokens on pack of Heinz Beanz. More information on www.heinz.ie/teamz


See Also: Doherty And Arter Make Cut As O'Neill Finalises Irish Squad

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