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Roche dreaming of Puskas prize

Stephanie Roche scored one of the finest goals of modern times but the big-money boot deal must have got lost in the post and the luxurious trappings of football fame have yet to materialise.

Even if they dropped into her lap tomorrow, Roche would have little time to enjoy them because the eager 25-year-old is grafting on the campaign trail. Next week, however, she might be more receptive.

The Republic of Ireland international's volley for Peamount United against Wexford Youths Women features on the three-goal shortlist for the Puskas Award, to be handed out at FIFA's Ballon d'Or ceremony on Monday.

Competition is provided by two classy World Cup finishes: James Rodriguez's cracker for Colombia against Uruguay and Robin van Persie's diving header in Holland's defeat of Spain.

Rodriguez and Van Persie had their goals filmed by state-of-the-art cameras, from all imaginable angles, while the sumptuous strike from Roche before a crowd of just 95 would have been lost forever had Wexford Youths coach John Flood not brought his camcorder to Ferrycarrig Park on October 13, 2013.

Roche has been at home in Ireland over Christmas, drumming up support that she hopes translates into a deluge of public votes.

Her boyfriend, Dean Zambra, plays for Bray Wanderers and his television presenter sister, Karla, takes press enquiries for Roche.

It has the making of a cosy cottage industry, if only Roche could make her famous goal pay a handsome return.

"I haven't had any offers or anything. I'm just focusing on the Puskas Award and then I'll decide what I'm going to do with my future," Roche told Press Association Sport.

"I haven't got anything like boot deals yet. You never know - something might come through, but I haven't got any sort of sponsorship or deals just yet.

"A lot of people seem to be getting behind the goal. I'm just so happy and I hope that it can continue until January 12 and we can get more votes."

The jaw-dropping moment in Peamount's green and black colours came when Roche collected a short cross from the right on her right instep, flicked it over bemused defender Laura Heffernan with her other boot and from 25 yards magicked up a left-footed missile of a volley that found the top right corner.

The latest edition of the Puskas Award was open to goals scored from October 3, 2013 to September 26, 2014. Almost 15 months since rippling the net, Roche's goal keeps giving.

Following the strike that has been watched more than six million times on YouTube, she moved to the south of France to join ASPTT Albi - though she is soon to leave the club after struggling with the language barrier.

Roche urges floating voters to judge her goal purely on its merits.

"It's something I'm so proud of," Roche said. "I think the goal is there: it's for the most beautiful goal, not for the stage on which it's scored. I hope people will look at it like that."

Manchester United supporter Roche would usually want Van Persie to take any honour going, yet she is chasing his scalp and that of Real Madrid's Rodriguez.

She said: "I'm up against two of the most well-known players in world football who play for two of the best clubs in the world and it's going to be difficult to beat them.

"I've scored quite a few good goals in my career and any manager I've had will tell you that.

"But what's happened with this goal makes it the best. It's put me in the spotlight and that's something I'll never forget."

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