Tuesday 25 July 2017

Case study: Karen Duggan Age 24, Caps 20

Republic of Ireland International Karen Duggan: 'There’s no point in promising us a qualification bonus until we have the resources to improve enough to qualify' Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland International Karen Duggan: 'There’s no point in promising us a qualification bonus until we have the resources to improve enough to qualify' Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

"This has been going on for two years. We didn't pick this up off the ground in the last two weeks. The issues have always been there but we've got to a point where enough is enough.

"We have real talent in our U-17s and U-19s but when you get to senior level we are not competing with other countries in terms of structures.

"It's not just about loss of earnings or getting a match fee; this is about developing basic structures to make sure we have what we need to develop. We need more resources to get to a level where we can qualify. There's no point in promising us a qualification bonus until we have the resources to improve enough to qualify.

"I am an amateur so I work 9-5.30. I take my holidays when I need to go away with the team, I can't work when I am away with the team as I work for a consulting firm. Some girls take unpaid leave - we all do different things.

"If I were to negotiate with my employer, I might be able to get unpaid leave but when you give up so much time you might be missing out on promotion opportunities.

"My employers are very accommodating, but I can't take advantage.

"When the home-based players meet up, we need more guidance in terms of nutrition, strength and conditioning.

"Our clubs do their best but they are amateur and as internationals we are expected to perform at a professional level.

"We do it because we love it but we want to get to the next level. Conditions have always been like this. It's sad but we are just conditioned to it, having to change in public toilets.

"We didn't want to talk about it as it's just part of what we have always done. But the time comes when you say 'enough is enough'."

Irish Independent

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