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Ireland Defender Says Team Were Hindered, Not Helped, By Vera Pauw

Ireland Defender Says Team Were Hindered, Not Helped, By Vera Pauw
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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The FAI's decision to move on from Vera Pauw as manager of the Republic of Ireland's Women's National Team manager has caused quite the debate in recent times, but what has been noticeable was the lack of public acknowledgement or support from players in the squad.

It had been suggested in recent months that the players were unhappy with some of Pauw's coaching methods, something that was thought to have played a role in the decision to not renew the Dutchwoman's contract. This was all but confirmed by FAI CEO Jonathan Hill on Thursday.

With Ireland set to open their UEFA Nations League campaign with a historic game against Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium this weekend, this week would offer the first opportunity to hear from the players since that move was made.

It has resulted in some remarkable quotes.

Ireland defender sums up why Vera Pauw had to go


Diane Caldwell is someone that has been part of Ireland squads for 17 years, having made her debut for the team back in 2006. She would have seen a huge amount of things change during that period, and while standards have improved, she was not happy with many aspects of life under Vera Pauw.

Speaking this afternoon, she said that she and other players were unhappy with various aspects of Pauw's approach. She even went as far as to say that Ireland's progress on the pitch in recent times was in spite of their manager, not because of her.

I think there were many areas that could have been better, yes, under her tenure.

I think our preparations for games could have been better, physical preparation, opponent analysis, match tactics, in-game match tactics, changes, systems of play.

I think a group of players that were destined for success came together at the right time...

From my position as a pretty experienced player, I don't think it was up to the standard expected at international level.

I think the results, performances that we got, were in spite of Vera being coach.

We approached her many times about professionalising many aspects, but it was hard to get change.

She obviously made myself a part of the leadership group that she created a long with a few other players so she gave us that position to use our voice and to try and talk on behalf of the team.

I think we tried to do that, as a group, the best that we could but obviously at the end of the day she is the coach and she controls everything. You can only say and try to change so much...

After the European campaign, myself and Katie also reflected with Ruud Dokter at the time about certain aspects of things that needed to be improved, changed, but ultimately that fell on deaf ears and she got a contract extension.

While it has long been suggested that Vera Pauw's methods were not enjoyed by parts of the squad, Caldwell's comments suggest that their issues with the former manager ran even deeper than previously thought. The fact that they wanted her gone as far back as 2020 is certainly quite the surprise.


Ireland's tactical approach at the recent World Cup was certainly questionable, with the team lacking any sort of attacking intent. This ultimately cost them against higher quality opposition as they failed to carve out scoring opportunities.

That will be an area that the new manager will look to improve on, aiming to get the likes of Katie McCabe and Denise O'Sullivan more involved in the final third.

It will be interesting to see how the team progresses both on and off the pitch after a new coaching team is installed.


SEE ALSO: Gary Neville's Recent Liverpool-Manchester United Comparison Already Looks Hilarious

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