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'It felt like being back in the olden days. We were not allowed at the training ground when the men were there'

A 1-0 defeat on the opening day of the season was not the ideal start, but Ireland international Louise Quinn was relieved to be just back on the field of play last weekend, proudly wearing the captain’s armband for Birmingham City for their trip to Tottenham’s home ground.

TV coverage and a healthy crowd of just under 5,000 were pluses, but despite advances made in the women’s game across Europe – including the FAI decision to have pay parity for players in the senior men’s and women’s teams – Quinn’s battles for fair treatment, past and recent, show that complacency is dangerous, given the challenges posed to her and her fellow professionals.

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