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11th May 2023

‘We don’t see enough women’s sports on in pubs’: Irish soccer star Stephanie Roche

Clodagh McKeon

We need more pubs showing women’s sports.

Shamrock Rovers and Republic of Ireland soccer player, Stephanie Roche (Zambra), has teamed up with the FAI to bring Ireland’s first ever women’s sports bar to life.

The Football Association of Ireland and Carlsberg 0.0 joined forces to launch the ‘The GIG’ – the country’s first women’s sports bar in The Square Ball bar in Dublin.

This incredible collaboration is to celebrate the girls in green and to encourage more and more people to get behind the squad as they head down under for the Women’s World Cup this July.

A shocking 67% of people say they think there’d be “more hype” around the World Cup if it was the men’s team that qualified, but these guys are on a mission to change that.

Irish superstar, Stephanie Roche said pubs aren’t showing enough women’s sports on their TVs so she’s calling for them to get behind this initiative.

Stephanie said: “I think anyone who watches the men’s Irish team either go to the match or go to the bar to watch it with their mates.

“This is a new concept that we don’t see enough of. We don’t see enough women’s sports on in pubs.

“It’s hoping for pubs to get behind women and create that atmosphere around the games and to get people out to watch them.”

“Hopefully other bars will take this onboard”

This weekend marks 50 years since the first ever Ireland women’s soccer team game was played and to celebrate that, The GIG will open this Saturday and Sunday May 13th and 14th.

There’ll be memorabilia and imagery from the 1973 squad and the bar will showcase other past glories of the Republic of Ireland women’s national team.

The Square Ball bar will also show female sport across the entire weekend, including the League of Ireland Women’s Premier Division.

Stephanie is involved in this project to promote women’s sports and try get more and more games shown in Irish pubs.

She said: “Hopefully other bars will take this onboard and have more of a female presence.

“Anytime I go into a pub, all I see is men’s matches on, you know, you don’t really ever see women’s games on so the aim is to get more pubs showing more women’s sports.”

Will Vera Pauw make major changes?

This is the first time the women’s Republic of Ireland soccer team have qualified for the FIFA World Cup tournament, so we’re making history this Summer.

The girls in green take on Australia first in a sold-out Sydney Stadium which is incredible in itself.

They’ll then face Canada and Nigeria in what is a very tough group.

Stephanie Roche who has played on the national team and for Shamrock Rovers for years said the Irish squad has worked hard and are up for the challenge this July.

She said: “The hard work has been done in getting there but it’s also about going to Australia and showing what they’re all about.

“I’m really looking forward to it and I hope the whole country get behind the team too.”

Although she’s unsure whether or not she’ll be heading to Oz herself, Stephanie is hoping to contribute to the match day commentary.

She said: “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get there, so now it’s about enjoying it.”

Stephanie said she expects Ireland coach, Vera Pauw, to have a few surprises up her sleeves this Summer.

She said there are new girls coming in and changes are bound to happen.

“That’s football, that’s how it goes”

Stephanie said: “There’s been a few girls coming in who maybe have just recently gotten their Irish passports and I think that [changes] are going to happen.

“The team has been successful in getting to the World Cup so players around the world who maybe have Irish connections will definitely be looking into it.

“I think certain players have come in and done well. I’ve said all along that I’ve played with girls that have duel citizenship and for me it’s, if they bring something better than what we have, they should be included.

“It’s important that we go there with the best squad possible. I’d hate to think about players who have been there for a long time missing out but that’s football, that’s how it goes.

“So, Vera will be looking at all her options to try line out the best squad.”

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