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'We Have To Be Realistic...But What Did Jack Charlton Say? Give It A Lash'

'We Have To Be Realistic...But What Did Jack Charlton Say? Give It A Lash'
By Alanna Cunnane Updated
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Ireland WNT manager Vera Pauw says that the her squad remains “realistic” about their World Cup chances but are ready to “give it a lash” come the tournament’s kick off on July 20th.

With hosts Australia, as well as Olympic champions Canada and Africa Cup of Nations veteran winners Nigeria in their group, the Girls In Green will be up against it at the Women's World Cup but have planned for every possible outcome according to Pauw at the helm of it all.

“We have to be realistic. If I would say we're going to go out at the group phase, then you plan failure, because what is failure for us at this stage?”

“I think that we need to give every team the best that we have and that we have to prepare to give our best and then we see if it's good enough to get out of the out of the group, but what did Jack Charlton say again? Give it a lash!”

Having announced her extended training squad yesterday, the Dutch native marks out how more or less those selected will be, excluding injury, those who travel to Oz and the 2023 Women’s World Cup. This is pertaining to a 23 woman official squad cut off, with a further three players given permission by FIFA to travel with the squad as backups, at the FAI’s expense.

This decision is one Pauw describes as a “no brainer” by her team and the wider footballing organisation in Ireland.

“FIFA is allowing us to go up to 26 on special request that actually we have made together with the Netherlands and Germany, to have training players, because otherwise you cannot periodise” Pauw explains.


“I must say that the FAI has understood every single step that I've proposed and made it happen…I'm so happy with all of the preparations and the understanding as to why this is necessary because it would bring us into a big problem if we would not have been able to bring those three players.”

With the final and official squad lists to be submitted by July 10th, alterations are permissible up until the 19th of July, the day before the tournament kicks off, with any squad changes made thereafter to be to be qualified by a FIFA doctor as injured before a change can be made in any capacity.

Pauw also spoke of the decision to undergo their training camp in between a mix of UCD and Abbotstown where the side usually prepare, spending a week at the university campus before switching to the Sport Ireland campus and a hotel basis before the Zambia fixture (on June 22nd) and repeating all of this leading up to the France clash (on July 6th).


Outlining that while they have “no complaints” with the facilities at Abbotstown, Pauw spoke of how they chose UCD as a base to “to create a private environment” and “stay fresh sharp, happy and hungry.”

“We've hired apartments at UCD on campus and that is reason why we train at there. Our pitch at Abbotstown is fantastic, but as Jonathan Hill has been talking about the dressing rooms, a stand, all those extra facilities that makes a training centre at this level top class- there's some work to be done there” says Pauw.

“For example we have those porta potty cabins for a quick toilet stop and of course, we have our dressing rooms but if a player needs to go to the toilet quickly, we've had to put those in.

“It would be magic if the upgrade could be done to the facility because that is what football deserves.”

Women’s Premier Division

With four Women’s Premier Divison players featuring in Pauw’s extended training squad, one could question how many of them are set to make the final 23, as well as what impact overall the World Cup will have on the national league in the long term.

Pauw gave her opinions and cited that “if you look at the recent history of the players in the squad, then you will see that there's many, many more coming from the national league but as soon as you're better than others, you're immediately taken out and given a contract in England or in Scotland.”


It’s for this reason she classes the WPD as a “development league” in its current state due to the lack of full time contracts and training supports.

“We've spoken about this before that Irish players have an easier go because there's different rules for them than for players from the continent or those playing in the European counties” Pauw says.

“It's not that I don't feel it that we only have four players, I feel that the likes of Chloe Mustaki and all of the Birmingham players, they all come from the Irish League too but the league needs to improve.

“If it would come before professional then you can compete with the English clubs, but at this moment you cannot stop a player from signing a contract if it’s one of her dreams that comes true that she can play full time and professionally abroad… and if they would go professional, they would train more. They would also train five times a week, which then would bring up a level.”

Pauw also was careful to lay out however that that level of professional football won’t guarantee international football, but rather that she favours “performance on the pitch” over contracts at big clubs, although won’t “give lines” as to the barriers in which to remain.

“If you train full time so that is a bonus but we have also Women's National League players who are not full time…Players initially thought if they would play in the Championship that they would not be selected, which is not the case. You’re better to play Championship football than being on the bench at WSL level” she explains.

“I also think that after the World Cup [excitement around the WPD] will increase.”

“The exposure of the league is huge…so after the World Cup it will increase. Hopefully there will be more contracts coming out, but the first or sponsors need to come in. Of course and that will help FIFA money will help to develop the league further so there's all plans in for that in place.

We’re working on all the different areas from education, to participation, to top level sport, to see that every single aspect is taken care of” she concluded.

SEE ALSO: Periodisidation, Mannion's Injury: The Big Talking Points From The Ireland WNT Training Squad Naming

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