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Sunday 4 December 2016

I know I'm good enough for US league, says Stephanie Roche

Stephanie Roche
Stephanie Roche

Irish international Stephanie Roche (25) said she is determined to work even harder to become a professional soccer player after she was let go by her US club this week.

Stephanie was released by Texas team Houston Dash just three months after she joined to make room for other international players.

The FIFA Puskas Goal of the Year runner-up made global headlines after her incredible goal for Peamount United in 2013 went viral online, and was brought across the Atlantic after a spell playing in France.

"Since I moved to Houston I have seen how the professional sports world works," she said last night.

READ MORE: Stephanie Roche: My shock at the end of US dream as club terminates contract

"I've seen that even NFL stars are released because of salary restrictions and not because of their ability. It's across the board too in all their major sports.

"I've also seen how it inspires the released player to work harder. That chip-on-the-shoulder attitude can be used positively to find a new opportunity. That has been my attitude since I received the disappointing news.

"I'm determined to keep going and would love another shot at this league. I'm convinced, having spent a few months with Houston, that I'm good enough to be in their team or any other team if I keep doing what I'm doing.

"I don't know what the future will hold, but I'm exploring my options at the minute. This is an unusual situation to be faced with. My contract was due to end at the end of the season, not abruptly after just five games.

"On reflection, I gave 100pc at all times to make things happen in Houston and I'm proud that I can look myself in the mirror knowing I gave it my best shot.

"I was simply on the wrong end of someone's professional opinion and that happens to people all the time. I will not allow this one experience to define me."

Stephanie admitted she was still "in shock".

"Just two days ago I had trained with the team and felt I had completed a very good session.

"My coach told me I was one of the best players technically and also the best finisher, which was hugely encouraging.

"Houston's decision to release me wasn't about my ability as a player. It was business."

Houston Dash coach Randy Waldrum said: "I really would have liked to have given her the time to be with us a season because I think she was getting better and better and adapting."

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