Tuesday 22 October 2019

Quinn praise for O'Connor as Pauw puts her stamp on Ireland set-up

Lousie Quinn. Photo: Sportsfile
Lousie Quinn. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Louise Quinn insists the Ireland women's team will miss having Tom O'Connor around but stresses the players can't dwell on the coach's absence from the new regime.

Colin Bell had retained the Dubliner as his assistant when replacing Sue Ronan in 2017 but the continuity was broken under new boss Vera Pauw.

Not only was O'Connor unsuccessful in extending his two-match caretaker term into a permanent role but he is no longer a part of the backroom staff.

Pauw, who had previously managed Scotland, South Africa and the Netherlands, mentioned at her unveiling two weeks ago about recruiting her staff with the future in mind.

The 56-year-old admits her stint with the FAI could last just one campaign, up to the Euro 2021 finals, should she oversee a first qualification for a major tournament.

She has appointed Eileen Gleeson - hugely popular with the players from her stints with Peamout United and UCD Waves - as her assistant and part of a succession plan.

Unlike Stephen Kenny, though, this potential handover is not in writing.


"The players had talked about Tom being the most consistent and stable thing that we had," said Arsenal centre-back Quinn.

"That was genuinely comforting for us. But, at the same time, that's football. As much as managers come and go, players do so just as easily. Some of our friends aren't getting picked for teams and you do have to deal with it. It's tough on Tom but a new manager will have their say.

"When Katie McCabe, Diane Caldwell and I met with Vera on the day of her official arrival, she wanted to keep an Irish coach. I played under Eileen at Peamount and know what a brilliant coach she is."

Regardless of the management, the players must soon deliver on the pitch. Some of the flaws evident in the recent 2-0 win over minnows Montenegro are likely to be punished on October 8 when Ukraine visit Tallaght Stadium.

Top seeds Germany are expected to secure the one automatic qualifying spot for the Euros with Ireland and seeds Ukraine likely to battle for the runner-up spot.

Louise Quinn was at the ticket launch for the Ukraine qualifier. In conjunction with the 20x20 initiative, the FAI want to break the attendance record of 4,100. Tickets available at fai.ie/ireland/tickets.

Irish Independent

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