Varied opinions on departure of Vera Pauw natural, says interim boss Eileen Gleeson
Republic of Ireland interim boss Eileen Gleeson says she has no issue with players giving their opinions on the departure of Vera Pauw.
In a press conference yesterday Diane Caldwell was critical of the Dutchwoman, saying that Ireland’s progression to the World Cup was down to the players and not the manager.
“From my position as a pretty experienced player, I don’t think it was up to the standard that’s expected at international level”, said Caldwell
“I think the results and performances that we got were in spite of Vera being our coach.”
Asked about Caldwell’s comments today, Gleeson says it’s natural for players to have opinions and to express them
“Players are going to express themselves all the time, we’ve all worked with players and we know that players have opinions. And rightly so – it’s their game, it’s their performances, it’s how they feel they want to move forward.
“A player having an opinion is not a new thing, we’re hearing plenty of opinions now and a player having an opinion is not at odds with human nature.”
Gleeson comes in on an interim basis for the Nations League qualifiers with Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and Hungary next week. The former Glasgow City boss was asked if she would like the job on a permanent basis, but says her focus is on increasing participation in women’s football, in her role as Head of Women and Girls Football with the FAI.
“I’m in here in the interim, and I’m really happy to be in here in the interim, and working with the girls and working with the team and driving the game forward.
“In the broader picture, it’s increasing participation, opportunities for girls to play. And beyond that, opportunities for women to be across the whole football ecosystem in different roles, to be in decision making roles, to be in leadership roles. That’s what I want.
“I want to see more women. More women, that’s what we want. We want them in leadership roles. As time goes on and we develop that role and develop what the aims are, we’ll see what that looks like.
“As a final point, Emma [Byrne] coming in is a step towards that. Capturing those women that are already available, providing opportunities for them, and that’s what we’ve done with Emma coming in.”