Vera Pauw 'destroyed' by Diane Caldwell comments

Vera Pauw 'Destroyed' By Diane Caldwell Comments
Pauw left the Ireland Women's National team on bad terms with some players after the World Cup. Photo: PA Images
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James Cox

Former Republic of Ireland women's team manager Vera Pauw has said she was “destroyed” by comments from defender Diane Caldwell.

Pauw had left Ireland on bad terms with some players after the World Cup, and Caldwell was one of them, claiming Ireland's historic qualification for the tournament was “in spite” of the manager.


Commenting on Pauw's coaching methods, Caldwell said: “From my position as a pretty experienced player, I don’t think it was up to the standard that’s expected at international level.”

She added: “The results and performances that we got were in spite of Vera being our coach. We approached her many times about professionalising many aspects but it was hard to get change.

“They (the FAI) have listened to the stakeholders in this team. These girls are good but we can actually be getting more out of them and performing at a higher level and achieving more success than what they have been.”

In an interview on the Second Captain's podcast, Pauw responded to the criticism.


“Where in men's football would a player be given be given the opportunity, who's only played so few minutes (for their club), to go to the World Cup and be apart of it?

“In our conversations, all the other technical staff members wanted to put her on the table as a discussion point.

“I have said Diane Caldwell is not a discussion point. So I protected her and she does this to me. I was angry, I was destroyed, I was probably everything that she wanted me to feel.”

Host Richie Sadlier then asked how Pauw would have responded if a player in her squad spoke about a previous manager in that vein.


“I would have said you can go up to your room, pack your bag and leave the camp."

She also said she was disappointed in her former assistant Eileen Gleeson, who is the current Ireland manager.

“I’m disappointed because two weeks earlier we said nothing comes between us. I said we love each other. We spoke it out; 'nothing comes between us'.

“And the first thing she says is Diane has the right to say things because everybody can have an open opinion.


“But this is not a true opinion. Why would somebody do that (be so critical) if you go to the World Cup as a very small nation, if you have astonished the world - the football world. Last week I still got the compliments 'how on earth did you do that?'

“Really, those words. If I planned the success, controlling the steps that we make and the steps that we have to make, how to be ready and playing those games, that is not up to the player to judge that.

“Because we played our best games, we played far above the level that anyone ever expected from us, so what do you want?

“There's no team that started the World Cup like we did. All the other debutants - also the big teams - had problems, they had to grow into the tournament, we were there immediately.


“But how? That is not because of a coach that is not doing anything. I had two sides, one side I felt sorry for her that she needed this and on the other side everybody sees this.

“Five times I became coach of the year. Do you think this is because of my nice glasses or something?”

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