Vera Pauw to leave role as Ireland women’s coach

Vera Pauw was appointed in September 2019 to lead Republic of Ireland Women to their first major event. Ireland finished bottom of their World Cup group after losing to Australia and Canada and drawing Nigeria.

Vera Pauw will step down after almost four years as Republic of Ireland Women’s head coach.

A long FAI board meeting on Tuesday decided not to extend Pauw’s contract, which ends this month.
The 60-year-old, appointed in September 2019, guided the squad to their first major competition, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, and a 22nd ranking.

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said: “The Football Association of Ireland thanks Vera for her four years of hard work and wishes her well for the future.

I want to thank her for bringing Ireland to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, where our women’s team created history and inspired a country.

“The future is bright for women and girls’ football, and our focus now is building on Vera’s work and our women’s team’s historic achievements to support the team’s next phase and the country’s development.”

Ireland’s Football Association (FAI) said this month that they will conduct a “full and comprehensive review” of the team’s Women’s World Cup debut before deciding on head coach Pauw’s future.

Ireland finished last in their group after losing to co-hosts Australia and Olympic winners Canada before drawing Nigeria.

The Dutch coach stated she didn’t feel like it was her final game in charge and attended the team’s homecoming in Dublin following their tournament departure.

“Why not attend the homecoming? Back with my crew. She said she would have enjoyed the event in Australia otherwise.

Pauw reminded captain Katie McCabe that “she’s not the coach” after she requested substitutes during the draw with Nigeria.

In the second half of the 0-0 stalemate in Brisbane, McCabe seemed to criticize Pauw’s reluctance to come off the bench, which condemned Ireland to bottom place in Group B.

Pauw resisted McCabe’s request to change until the 83rd minute and explained why after the game.

“Why would we change?” said the manager. Katie McCabe’s desire to change doesn’t imply she’s not the coach.

Everyone was doing great, so I asked Katie, ‘What do you want? Removing the greatest player? No’.

“Players may say that and be emotional. That’s good, but I analyze the game and make modifications as needed.

At least to me, players can tell coaches anything.

“She needed new legs, but everyone was doing well. Sinead Farrelly was the greatest player on the field, so I didn’t want to pull him off.”

McCabe did not comment on her discussion with Pauw after the match but responded to her manager on social media.

McCabe, Ireland’s greatest player, played left wing-back throughout the tournament and scored her country’s sole Women’s World Cup goal from a corner against Canada.

Ireland lost the match 2-1, and McCabe’s team was eliminated before their encounter with Nigeria after losing 1-0 to co-hosts Australia.

McCabe noted after the match, “To be calm, composed and patient in our defensive work, to have a lot of possession was really good.” It was simply using it properly.

“We created good opportunities and it was disappointing we didn’t capitalize.”

Hey there, I'm Jessica, a sports writer with a focus on women's sports. My insightful articles shed light on the achievements and challenges faced by female athletes, inspiring readers with stories of determination and resilience.