Ireland international Stephanie Roche moves to Italian Serie A side Florentia

Sat, Nov 10 2018

Roche has scored 14 goals in 53 international games. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Republic of Ireland striker Stephanie Roche will resume her club career with a switch to Florentia in Italy’s Serie A.

The Shankill native has spent the past three seasons in the Women’s Super League in England with Sunderland but vowed to move on even before the Black Cats were denied a license.

Her final year was marred by a broken leg sustained in Ireland’s World Cup qualifying win over Northern Ireland in Lurgan and a subsequent knee injury she picked up on recovery.

The former Peamount United and Houston Dash striker will carry on her career in a fourth different country and could return to fitness for the tantalising local derby with Fiorentina on December 1st.

"I am very happy to have arrived at the Florentia," Roche told the club’s official website.

"The Italian Serie A is a championship that is becoming more competitive and I have chosen to come here to continue playing at a high level.

“Florentia is a great team. I was waiting and did my best to fully recover from my injury. I want to repay the trust of the club.

“I'm here to score because that's my role, but I'm at the disposal of the coach and the team. I've been out for a year and I can not wait to get back on the pitch.

“I'm hungry for goals and I hope to be ready for the match against Fiorentina!"

29-year-old Roche played her underage football with Cabinteely and Stella Maris before moving into senior football with Dundalk City.

After a spell with Raheny United, Roche moved to Peamount for the inaugural Women’s National League season in 2011, and won the golden boot with 26 goals as the Peas won the title.

She was nominated for the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal in the world in 2014, finishing second behind Colombia’s James Rodriguez.

After a short stint with ASPTT Albi in France, she spent three months with Houston Dash in the United States before signing terms with Sunderland.

Roche made her senior Ireland debut in 2008 and has gone on to amass 53 caps, scoring 14 goals along the way.