Stephanie Roche said the home of women’s football in Ireland is Tallaght Stadium and most of the girls will agree with that.
Ireland women’s soccer team will make history this September when they play at the Aviva Stadium for the first time ever.
The Football Association of Ireland confirmed the news this week.
Ireland will host Northern Ireland in the opening game of the 2023-2024 Women’s Nations League tournament on Saturday September 23rd.
Kick off is set for 1pm.
The UEFA Nations League tie was pushed from the Friday to facilitate families and avoid a clash with the men’s League of Ireland as there are three matches in Dublin that night.
This suits Ireland to play this match at lunchtime because they fly to Hungry later on the same night ahead of their second game in the following Tuesday.
“The crowds have increased over the last number of years but I’m not sure we’re quite there yet”
The FAI attempted to move the World Cup warm-up against France on July 6th from Tallaght Stadium with a capacity of 8,000 to the Aviva but they were denied.
The Aviva can seat 51,700 people so that will be the next challenge ahead for the girls in green.
However, it’s unclear if the entire stadium will even be open and accessible for the game.
Ireland international and Shamrock Rovers player, Stephanie Roche Zambra told Her.ie that she believes Ireland would be well able to fill the Aviva but is unsure if it would be sustainable.
She said: “I think Tallaght Stadium has nearly become the home of women’s football you know, they’ve played there for the past number of years.
“Obviously, there’s a big game against France before we go to the World Cup so, for me it’d be great to sell-out the Aviva, it’s your stadium.
“But, I think we’ve made Tallaght our home and I think it’s important to keep that there.
“The crowds have increased over the last number of years but I’m not sure we’re quite there yet.
“I think it has to be though out and it has to be done right. If the girls come home and do really well, there’s no denying that they would sell out the Aviva but would that be something that we could continue, I don’t know.
“So for me, I think the home of women’s football in Ireland is Tallaght Stadium and I think most of the girls would feel that way too.”
A family season ticket costs €240, which comes at just over €11 a ticket if two adults and two children attend every game this season – not bad.
According to The Irish Times, Jonathan Hill, the Chief Executive of the FAI said: “Football for women and girls has clearly moved a significant way forward in the last three years much of it driven by the inspirational performances of Vera Pauw and the team.
“But, also on the back of our equal pay agreement in 2021 and the hard work of thousands of coaches and volunteers the length and breadth of the country who are inspiring women’s football to new highs.”