Feature: Roche Looking Forward to Rochdale Test

Last season Barry Roche suffered a hip injury that nearly forced him to retire. Since then he has bounced back to gain full fitness and has been a constant presence between the posts for Morecambe this season.

Talking about returning to action the 33-year-old said: “It’s absolutely brilliant! It was very difficult last season to miss so much football but to be back now playing with the lads now after six months of really hard graft to get myself back where I want to be is really pleasing.”

He added: “For me the big thing was getting back to playing football because there was a time where I wasn’t sure if I was going to get back playing given the extent of the injury.”

Barry also talked about Morecambe’s season so far by saying: “I think we’ve had a pretty good start to the season so far. Overall we’re playing some really good football and going forward we’ve been excellent. At the back we know we’ve been conceding too many goals.”

He added: “Overall we’ve had a good start but there’s plenty of room for improvement.”

Barry is in his 8th season with the Shrimps talked about his fan favourite status at the Globe Arena. He said: “It goes both ways. I love it here as well. I’ve made my home here, I’m really settled and I love the football club. Long may it continue!”

Looking ahead to the JPT quarter final against Rochdale he said: “The aim is to go all the way to Wembley! We’ve beaten two top League 1 sides in the last two sides and we’ve got another very tough game against a Rochdale side who are going pretty well. Just like the last two rounds of the competition we’re underdogs so we can go there with no fear and there’s no reason why we can’t got there and put in another good performance.”

Chris Wilder said the JPT should be scrapped but Barry is a big fan of the competition. When asked about the Northampton manager’s statement he said: “I couldn’t disagree more to be honest. Bar a handful of clubs in League 1 and 2 it’s one of the best chances a club has got to go Wembley. All clubs should take it very seriously like we have this season. The chance to play at Wembley is something isn’t achieved by many professionals.”

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