Liffey’s Roche gets huge FAI honour

by Dave Donnelly
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A momentous 12 months for Liffey Wanderers was capped on Sunday night when striker Aidan Roche was announced as intermediate player of the year at the FAI International Awards.

Roche joined the likes of Damien Duff, Marco Tardelli and Shane Duffy in taking the stage at RTE Studios to pick up his award.

“I’ve never really been nervous in awards and stuff like that,” Roche told the Dublin Gazette.

“The feeling before it was something you can’t describe. It was hard to take.

“Then when he actually called my name out I think I actually celebrated to be honest. I’ve never celebrated winning an award before! I felt a lot of relief. I’m just chuffed.”

The Pearse Street native scored in extra time as Liffeys went all the way to penalties with Cobh Wanderers at the Aviva Stadium in May before emerging triumphant.

The south inner-city club had already sealed the Sunday Senior 1A title – and their fourth successive promotion – to reach the second tier of intermediate ball.

And they remain on course to make that five this season as they sit two points off leaders Ballymun United with a game in hand.

So for Roche, winning intermediate player of the year isn’t simply recognition for him, but for the entire club.

“On a personal note, it’s huge for myself, but thinking back four or five years ago the run we had with Liffeys.

“Winning the FAI Junior Cup, and now winning that.

“It’s not just huge for myself, it’s huge for the club, the family, the area.

“I went into the boozer afterwards and everyone just started clapping and cheering.
“On that end it was brilliant as well.”

Roche has been flanked in Liffey blue for the past few years by his brothers Lee and Dylan, and his family were on hand to give him emotional support, literally, on Sunday.

“When I went back and seen them, it was just waterworks everywhere. It was quite an emotional night and an emotional time coming up to it.”

Roche’s thoughts will now turn to securing promotion to Senior Sunday and looking towards winning back their Intermediate Cup crown next season.

He’s in the process of opening his own gym, Feel Fit, in East Wall, which he hopes to have up and running by the end of May.

“I’ve recently acquired premises over at East Wall. I think I’m going to have the biggest gym in the north inner city.

“I’m sure I’ll have most of the football clubs over from the inner city.

“So this weekend just put the cherry on the cake.

“Things are going so well and I’m very grateful for it.”

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