Stephanie Roche signs for Sunderland

Stephanie Roche signs for Sunderland
Stephanie Roche signs for Sunderland

Stephanie Roche has been snapped up by Sunderland after her US team released her last month.

The 26-year-old's American dream came to a shuddering halt last month when the Houston Dash released her but the Puskas Award runner up will now ply her trade in the growing ladies game in England, joining a side in mid table in WSL 1 at the moment following promotion from WSL 2 last season.

Speaking on the Sunderland Ladies website, Roche said: “It’s great to be at Sunderland Ladies and I can’t wait to get started.

“I know there is a high standard in WSL 1 and it’s something I’m looking forward to being a part of. The team have done really well this season and hopefully I can play my part too.”

Sunderland AFC Ladies head coach, Carlton Fairweather, also seemed thrilled the irish striker was joining him: “Stephanie is going to be a very good addition to the side. The fact she was nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award at the 2014 Ballon d’Or ceremony shows her ability, but it isn’t just about that and she will bring added value to the side.

“From her point of view it is a great opportunity to establish herself in the FAWSL 1 and then push on from there, so her main objective will be to cement her place in the first-team and continue to represent Republic of Ireland at international level.”

“We have had a good start to the season and as we enter the next phase we want to push on and improve.”

The WSL is shown on BT Sport so Irish fans lucky enough to have the channel will be able to see the Dubliner in action when the league resumes after the Women's World Cup.

Roche's expected debut will be on July 12 against Notts County Ladies.