Ireland manager Vera Pauw insists she played no part in Saoirse Noonan joining Shelbourne

Ireland manager Vera Pauw insists she played no part in Saoirse Noonan joining Shelbourne

Shelbourne Women FC new signing Saoirse Noonan poses for a portrait at her home in Grange, Cork. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

IRELAND'S women’s manager Vera Pauw insists she played no role in Saoirse Noonan leaving Cork City nor her decision to drop her GAA commitments for at least a year.

The dual star narrowly missed the cut to make Pauw’s final squad for the final Euro qualifier against Germany in December at a time she was preparing for national finals in both GAA and football.

It transpired the FAI Cup final on December 10 was the 21-year-old’s last game for Cork City as she chose Shelbourne from several suitors to pursue the next stage of her career.

Shels have finished in the top two of the top-flight in four of the last five seasons and under new manager, former Ireland boss Noel King, are tipped to challenge champions Peamount United once the season kicks off on March 27.

Learn more However, Pauw stayed well out of Noonan’s club business and, in fact, believes the transfer may prove detrimental to the overall standard of the domestic game.

“It’s the opposite,” asserted Dutchwoman Pauw when asked if she encouraged the off-season switch.

“If you look at how I developed the Eredivisie for the Netherlands, there was equal division of quality. 

"Within 10 days of me leaving, there was huge division and that has brought problems.

“If you look into my heart, I would love to have quality spread over all clubs in the country.

“I’ve not spoken to Saoirse or Shelbourne about it. I have to ask 'Is this a good thing?'

Ireland manager Vera Pauw enjoys some time out from training at Tallaght Stadium. Picture: Stephen McCarthy
Ireland manager Vera Pauw enjoys some time out from training at Tallaght Stadium. Picture: Stephen McCarthy

“We have a situation where the player wants to make the step-up but it is another issue for the League. Let’s see how it turns out.

“It is not a demand of mine to join a top team to get into the Ireland squad. 

"If you look into my development heart, it is not good for the League, so it is not good as a whole for development.” 

Meanwhile, Pauw – who extended her contract for the World Cup qualifying campaign kicking off in September – downplayed the prospects of her squad reaching pay parity with the men’s international squad.

“The problem is that we don’t yet bring in money,” she noted. 

“Equal pay comes when there is a possibility for equal pay.

“The key thing is needing an equal approach of opportunity. 

"The clubs train only twice per week and players need to find their own training environment. There’s lots of issues that are not equal with men.

“Let’s focus first on equal opportunities for training and development. 

"That is something achievable very quickly and not expensive.

“If that happens and everybody is training on an elite level, with five or six training sessions plus a game per week, then automatically the sponsors step in and there will be money. 

"That is my experience from working with other countries. We need to take responsibility.

"It is no secret that the FAI isn’t in the best financial situation.”

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