Pauw standing firm as Toland again left out of Ireland squad

Rift with player has deepened and Manchester City midfielder unlikely to play for Republic again while Dutch coach is in charge

Vera Pauw: “Women coaches in football have it harder than male coaches, let’s say it like that. We say that we need to have elephant skin.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Vera Pauw: “Women coaches in football have it harder than male coaches, let’s say it like that. We say that we need to have elephant skin.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Vera Pauw’s handling of the ongoing absence from the Republic of Ireland women’s squad of Tyler Toland continues to intrigue after she claimed the issue would not have arisen if a male was at the helm.

Toland (19) won’t be travelling to Iceland on Monday for of a double-header friendly after the Dutch coach said the necessary phonecall confirming her availability still hadn’t been forthcoming.

Unlike last month, when Pauw urged the Manchester City midfielder to show “guts” by making the call, the manager conflated Toland’s struggles at club level to justify the omission from her preferred list of 23.

The Donegal native featured seven times on loan at Glasgow City but hasn’t figured in the last three matches ahead of Sunday’s title decider against Rangers.

“Tyler is in the stands at Glasgow City,” said Pauw. “In that sense, it’s not the issue. The issue is for the future.”

It is understood Toland, an ever-present for predecessor Colin Bell, has recently undertaken not to represent Ireland while Pauw is manager.

She had attempted to reconcile in April by sending a text message, only for that to go unanswered and Pauw publicly unload a critique aimed at her and her father.

As well as the demand to show “guts”, Pauw accused Maurice Toland of “harassment and intimidation”.

Mr Toland has profusely denied the allegation, contending he telephoned the manager just once when she blocked his daughter from lining out for Ireland’s under-19s in March 2020.

Pauw stuck by her position, suggesting the men’s team manager would not have been subjected to such an approach.

“Do you think Tyler’s father would have said this to Stephen Kenny?” she responded when asked at the squad announcement press conference.

“From my 30 years of experience, that would never happen. Women coaches in football have it harder than male coaches, let’s say it like that. We say that we need to have elephant skin.

Losing streak

“I would accept an apology but, so far, he has turned it around, denied it and attacked me. That is very usual. Of course, that hurts. I don’t think anybody realises how much it hurts.

“But I don’t blame Tyler for her father’s misbehaviour. I’m here to save her career and I will save it.”

Pauw’s compatriot Ruud Dokter was a curious attendee at the event, held outside to comply with Government guidelines. He had backed his manager in denying Toland access to an under-19 squad she was still eligible for.

“If you say goodbye to the A squad, you also say goodbye to Under-19 and Under-17 groups.”

Ireland, without Toland, will try to end their five-match losing streak against an Icelandic side ranked 17th in the world.

Both friendlies, next Friday and then Monday week, June 14th, will be played in Laugardalsvollur, Reykjavik and kick off at 6pm, Irish time.

Saoirse Noonan makes the senior squad cut her the first time, having moved to title contenders Shelbourne from her local club, Cork City, at the start of this season.

Ciara Grant, who took a break from the international set-up to concentrate on training to become a doctor, returns to the squad. The midfielder had earned 15 caps but her last involvement was as part of the medical team for the two European Championship qualifiers in March 2020 days before the pandemic shut down football across most of Europe.

US-based midfielder Roma McLaughlin is also recalled but injury rules out goalkeeper Marie Hourihan, midfielders Ruesha Littlejohn and Ellen Molloy, as well as forwards Leanne Kiernan, Kyra Carusa and Emily Whelan.

Ireland’s 2023 World Cup qualification campaign commences away to bottom seeds Georgia on September 17th before they meet the two nations seeded above, Sweden and Finland, in October.

Rep of Ireland women’s squad:

Goalkeepers: Grace Moloney (Reading), Courtney Brosnan (Unattached), Eve Badana (DLR Waves).

Defenders: Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Claire O’Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Niamh Farrelly (Glasgow City), Louise Quinn (Fiorentina), Diane Caldwell (North Carolina Courage), Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Claire Walsh (Peamount United), Éabha O’Mahony (Cork City), Áine O’Gorman (Peamount United).

Midfielders: Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Megan Connolly (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciara Grant (Shelbourne), Roma McLaughlin (Connecticut Fusion), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal)

Forwards: Heather Payne (Florida State University), Rianna Jarrett (Unattached), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Saoirse Noonan (Shelbourne).

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