Tommy Dickson/INPHO Vera Pauw speaking to the media at FAI HQ today.
# ongoing saga
Vera Pauw: 'I have no conflict with Tyler Toland. Tyler and her father have a conflict with me'
The Ireland boss dug in on her stance as the Manchester City midfielder was again absent from today’s squad.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND Women’s National Team [WNT] boss Vera Pauw says she remains waiting for a call from Tyler Toland and has re-iterated she is “trying to save her career” as an ugly back-and-forth rumbles on.

Pauw named her squad for an upcoming double-header of international friendlies today, with 19-year-old Toland absent once again.

The Donegal midfielder — on the books of Manchester City, though spending the season on loan at Glasgow City — hasn’t been included in the Girls In Green squad since the Euro qualifier against Greece in Athens in November 2019, where she was an unused substitute, having excelled before Pauw’s arrival.

Fuel was added to the fire in an explosive press conference with the Dutchwoman last month, as she fielded questions on Toland’s long-term international absence.

“Maybe a bit of guts would help her,” she said at one point, also alleging that she had been subjected to “harassment and intimidation” by Toland’s father, Maurice — claims he vehemently denied as “ludicrous” afterwards, as he called on the FAI to intervene.

In a media briefing at FAI HQ today, Pauw said that there has been no change in the situation 

“No,” she began. “She is sitting in the stands, she’s not in the squad at Glasgow City. That is one reason but, secondly, she has not called me.”

In further conversation with RTÉ Sport soccer corespondant Tony O’Donoghue, she continued:

“I have not called her. I’ve said last time why. I’m trying to save her career. If I call her, it will not help her.

“I do not want to go into that because there has been already too much talk about it. I want to go forward and I think that the issue with Tyler will solve by itself, but the thing is she’s also on the bench [at Glasgow City].”

tyler-toland Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Tyler Toland. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Pauw said she did not regret the language she used when discussing Maurice Toland’s communication. “I said what I said last time, and I don’t regret what I said,” she noted.

O’Donoghue pointed out that this ugly back-and-forth would cast a shadow over the squad announcement and the upcoming games.

“Unfortunately,” Pauw agreed, “that is not my fault, it’s been going on for 18 months already. People were asking, people were making stories, so I decided to say what was going on. I don’t blame Tyler for the behaviour of the father.”

When asked if it was time for a mediator to come in, she said: “I have no conflict with Tyler. Tyler and her father have a conflict with me, because she was not in the line-up.”

Is the door closed on her international future for you, was the question from Off The Ball’s John Duggan in a separate live broadcast interview. Pauw answered:

“I have no problem with Tyler Toland. I want to repeat that. She, and her father, and probably more her father than she, has a problem with me because she was not in the line-up, because Jamie Finn was better in her position.

“As an 18-year-old, that is a very normal situation, but her reaction on that is not a normal situation. Unfortunately, and it hurts, but it brings that a player needs to grow, and I hope that she will call me soon.

“But don’t forget, she’s in the stands at Glasgow City now. She’s not playing.”

While there’s no place for Toland in the squad of 23 Pauw announced today, there were recalls for her fellow county women, US-based Roma McLaughlin and Shelbourne’s Ciara Grant.

The latter’s clubmate, Saoirse Noonan, is another of eight Women’s National League [WNL] players included, part of the full set-up for the first time having previously been named in provisional selections.

Ireland face 17th-ranked Iceland (Pauw’s side are currently 34th) in Reykjavic on Friday, 11 June, and Tuesday, 15 June, departing from Dublin on Monday via a chartered flight.

“Iceland are fantastic opponents because they have a similar style to Sweden and Finland an also under the pressure we can still play,” Pauw noted after back-to-back recent 1-0 friendly defeats at the hands of the other nations, as preparations for September’s World Cup qualifiers ramp up.

“It’s about building momentum against strong opponents and it will help us develop our attacking game. We can jump a level in defence and in attack. That is why we chose these opponents.

“We will have more sessions and also some new players and although we lose a few players with injuries, we can see others. We won’t play everyone in the two games.

“In every game we have to become better. We are building and we are fighting for at least a play-off, we feel we can be ready and become more balanced in our play.”

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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