Sunday 20 October 2019

Pauw plans on leading women to major finals for first time

Newly appointed Republic of Ireland women's national team manager Vera Pauw. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Newly appointed Republic of Ireland women's national team manager Vera Pauw. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Vera Pauw says that a first-time qualification for a major finals with the Irish women's national side has to be a target as she prepares to take charge of the side for the first time.

Pauw, a native of The Netherlands, was an observer as Ireland opened their qualifying campaign for Euro 2021 with a win over Montenegro earlier this month.

She has since taken over and will be in the dugout in Tallaght Stadium next month for the visit of Ukraine, Ireland's main rivals for the runner-up slot in Group I.

The women's side have never reached a major finals at senior level and Pauw insists that must change.

"It's not only important, it's crucial. Any country which has qualified for a finals showed that the development of their game jumped ahead from that moment and cannot be stopped," she said after naming her first squad.

"It's crucial that your national team qualifies for the finals. We will do everything we can to get there and we have to qualify. The only thing that counts is qualifying and we will do everything in our power, with our energy and resources, to get there.

"A win would be perfect but we cannot lose. Ukraine have lost 8-0 to Germany already and they play them again next week."

Pauw also revealed that she plans a meeting with predecessor Colin Bell this week, to get his input on the squad. Bell left the women's post in June to move to Huddersfield Town.

Irish Independent

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